December 23, 2014 / 9:22 PM / in 3 years

U.S. drops South Sudan, Gambia from trade benefits program

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will drop South Sudan and Gambia from a duty-free trade program as of Jan. 1, according to a presidential proclamation on Tuesday that said the countries failed to meet the conditions, without specifying them.

But President Barack Obama said Guinea-Bissau would be reinstated to a 14-year-old trade program giving African countries duty-free access to U.S. markets, known as the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

The United States is pushing for United Nations action against South Sudan after fighting between government and rebel forces, which has killed more than 10,000 people.

The U.S. National Security Council has voiced concern over Gambia’s moves to block access to UN human rights investigators and enact new laws against homosexuality.

The United States said in June it would also drop Swaziland from the program.

Reporting by Krista Hughes; Editing by Richard Chang

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