Effective Jan. 1, 2019, President Trump intends to terminate the designation of Mauritania as a beneficiary country under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. Trump explained that, despite “intensive engagement” with the U.S., Mauritania has made insufficient progress toward combating forced labor, specifically hereditary slavery, and has failed to meet critical required benchmarks. A statement from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative added that the government of Mauritania continues to restrict the ability of civil society to work freely to address anti-slavery issues. Deputy USTR C.J. Mahoney said Mauritania could regain its AGOA eligibility in the future if it works with the U.S. to address these problems.

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