Gambia dropped from U.S. trade program

GambiaOn Dec 24, 2014 Washington Blade reported: The Obama administration on Tuesday announced Gambia is no longer eligible to take part in a duty-free trade program amid growing concerns over the country’s LGBT crackdown and other human rights abuses.

Reuters reported the U.S. will also drop South Sudan from the African Growth and Opportunity Act, a law then-President Bill Clinton signed in 2000 that allows sub-Saharan African countries to access U.S. markets. The news agency said the Obama administration will allow Guinea-Bissau to rejoin the program.

The changes take effect on Jan. 1.

Ned Price, a spokesperson for the National Security Council, noted to the Washington Blade late on Tuesday that Gambian President Yahya Jammeh in October signed a law under which those convicted of “aggravated homosexuality” face life in prison.

Reuters earlier this week reported Gambian authorities recently arrested three men they said engaged in same-sex sexual relations. It…

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