Forced Labor Costs Mauritania its Trade Benefits with US

The US will end trade benefits for Mauritania on January 1 for falling short of abolishing forced labor practices, the US Trade Representative’s Office (USTR) said.

Mauritania is not in compliance with requirements of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which provides duty-free treatment for certain goods, USTR said in a statement explaining the decision.

“Forced or compulsory labor practices like hereditary slavery have no place in the 21st century,” Deputy US Trade Representative C.J. Mahoney said.

Mauritania was the last nation in the world to abolish slavery in 1981, but a significant portion of the country’s black population is still enduring slavery.

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