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Bush Suspends Trade Benefits for Bolivia


The White House says President George Bush has suspended special trade benefits with Bolivia because of its failure to cooperate in drug-fighting efforts.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Wednesday that Bolivia was suspended as a beneficiary country under the Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA) and the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA). The spokeswoman said the suspension takes effect December 15.

But, Perino said the benefits can be restored if Bolivia were to improve its performance under the criteria of both programs and at the president's discretion.

The trade preferences lowered tariffs on Andean nations that help the United States fight drugs.

Three weeks ago, Bolivian President Evo Morales suspended the work of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in his country, accusing agents of spying and supporting anti-government protests. He also gave them three months to leave the country. U.S. officials rejected the accusations.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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