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Bolivian President Nixes Free-Trade Negotiations with US


Bolivian President Evo Morales has ruled out a free-trade agreement with the United States, despite an offer of support from Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.

Mr. Morales vowed Wednesday to refrain from trade talks with the United States, saying a free-trade agreement would harm local producers.

Tuesday, Mr. Uribe, who has been negotiating with the United States for a Colombian free trade agreement, offered to assist the United States and Bolivia in a similar negotiation.

Several South American countries are negotiating with the United States on free trade agreements, since a system of preferential trade tariffs expires at the end of this year. Washington had been giving trade advantages to countries that cooperate with the United States on anti-drug efforts.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.