US President Donald Trump will end Mauritania’s trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) at the start of next year, the US trade representative’s office has announced.
The measure comes as pressure mounts on Mauritania to abolish slavery. In January, the African Union ruled that Mauritania has not adequately enforced its anti-slavery laws and also hands out lenient sentences to slave owners.
The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) allows duty-free trade for certain goods.
The said that “The American decision to prevent our country from the advantages of AGOA is trivial and meaningless.”
“We are the government that fought slavery with its own efforts without the slightest American support,” said the Mauritanian Minister of Culture and government spokesman Sidi Mohamed Ould Mohamed yesterday.
“When was the US administration interested in fighting slavery even within America itself?” he went on to ask.
“Would Trump have taken this decision if he had expected a deal of $110 billion?” he added, in reference to America’s refusal to severe trade ties with Saudi Arabia in spite of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on 2 October.