White House to pull Russia from trade benefits program

WASHINGTON Wed May 7, 2014 3:30pm EDT

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WASHINGTON May 7 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama gave the U.S. Congress official notice on Wednesday that he plans to pull Russia from a program that allows duty-free imports of certain goods, known as the Generalized System of Preferences, the White House said.

Russia is "sufficiently advanced economically" and no longer needs the special treatment, the White House said.

"Russia's actions regarding Ukraine, while not directly related to the President's decision regarding Russia's eligibility for GSP benefits, make it particularly appropriate to take this step now," Caitlin Hayden, spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, said in an email. (Reporting by Roberta Rampton and Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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