US Senator Threatens Uganda With Trade Sanctions

Jim Burroway

January 12th, 2010

Sen. Ron WydenSen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), who chairs the Senate finance Committee’s subcommittee on International Trade, Customs and Global Competitiveness, has released a statement  threatening Uganda with trade sanctions if that nation proceeds with passing the wide-ranging and draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

In a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Sen. Wyden warns:

As you know, Uganda is a beneficiary of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which was signed in to law in 2000. AGOA provides duty-free treatment to imports originating from beneficiary African countries. Beneficiaries of AGOA must meet certain eligibility criteria, one of which is to not engage in “gross violations of internationally recognized human rights,” and the jurisprudence in the area of international human rights supports respect of sexual orientation and gender identity as human rights. I strongly urge you to communicate immediately to the Ugandan government, and President Yoweri Museveni directly, that Uganda\’s beneficiary status under AGOA will be revoked should the proposed legislation be enacted.

Sen. Wyden promises to sponsor legislation to amend America’s trade preference programs “to make clear that failure to appropriately respect sexual orientation and gender identity as human rights shall preclude a country from benefitting from any U.S. trade preference scheme.”

Click here to see BTB\’s complete coverage of the past year\’s anti-gay developments in Uganda.

Ben in Oakland

January 12th, 2010

at last a senator with a moral sense. kind of makes you pine for goldwater instead of the weak tea that usually passes for a senator thse days.

Richard W. Fitch

January 12th, 2010

ok … Uganda alledgedly has billions of dollars worth of oil reserves just waiting to be pumped out of the ground. So…what happens if no one wants to buy? I know it is an unlikely outcome, especially with their cozy relation to China, but it’s something to ponder.

Lynn David

January 13th, 2010

Uganda’s oil is being developed in the Lake Albert basin mostly by UK-based Tullow Oil PLC out of London. A Canadian company also holds an interest. China has tried to buy into the discoveries there but the London company has so far rebuffed them. There has been talk of a pipeline to the Indian Ocean via Kenya but no production is expected to come online until 2012. Museveni has made some noise about Tullow helping to build an oil refinery in Uganda so they don’t have to re-import refined products. I imagine he’d like to produce enough refined product to export it to Kenya and other countries also (I’d think he would have to make a deal with Kenya on that or else the pipeline might not be well guarded and people would be cutting holes in it like they do quote often in Nigeria).


January 13th, 2010

Good for Wyden. The queer community needs more people like him in the Senate.

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