WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Tuesday said that he’s decided to cut out Ethiopia from a U.S. trade program, setting the path for sanctions against the African nation over its failure to end a nearly yearlong war in the Tigray region that has led to “gross violations” of human rights.
Biden in a letter to Congress said Ethiopia has not met eligibility requirements to remain a beneficiary of the African Growth and Opportunity Act. The program provides sub-Saharan African nations duty-free access to the United States on the condition they meet certain requirements, including eliminating barriers to U.S. trade and investment and making progress towards political pluralism.
Biden also cited Guinea and Mali in the letter for being out of compliance. The president said Ethiopia was in “gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.”
The sanction goes into effect on Jan. 1. U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in a statement her office would “provide each country with clear benchmarks for a pathway toward reinstatement and our Administration will work with them to achieve that objective.”
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