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US Trade Rep Strongly Urges Sanctions Over Anti-Gay Bill

Jim Burroway

January 14th, 2010

Uganda’s largest independent newspaper Daily Monitor reports that U.S. Trade Representative Kirk Wyden has written a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday recommending that she review Uganda’s trade status with the US if the Anti-Homosexuality Bill becomes law.

According to Daily Monitor:

Daily Monitor has also seen a letter written by the US Trade Representative Ron Kirk Wyden to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on January 12, saying: “I strongly urge you to communicate immediately to the Ugandan government, and President Yoweri Museveni directly, that Uganda’s beneficiary status under AGOA (African Growth and Opportunity Act) will be revoked should the proposed legislation be enacted.”

The letter adds: “Beneficiaries of Agoa must meet certain eligibility criteria, one of which is to not engage in “gross violations of internationally recognised human rights.”

Under Agoa, signed in 2000, Uganda like several other sub-Saharan African states, got leeway to export products, duty-free, to the US market.

On that same day, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), chair of the Senate finance Committee’s subcommittee on International Trade, Customs and Global Competitiveness, issued a statement threatening Uganda with loss of preferential trade relations if that nation proceeds with passing the wide-ranging and draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

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

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