Saturday, June 27, 2009

Bolivia Stalls On Negotiating With Obama Administration Over Trade Preferences

Latest news from Bolivia's Foreign Ministry is that it has "postponed" sending a delegation to Washington DC to negotiate the possibility of Bolivia renewing trade preferences under the Andean Trade Preferences act. Suspended by the Bush admninistration in part due to Morales expulsion of the US ambassador and the DEA, the door had opened under Obama.

The program started in 1992 and took off slowly before picking up after 2002. In 2006 and 2007 exports to the US were 172.1 million and 153.3 million. Textiles were a big part. It is a very large percentage of Bolivia's total manufacturing exports. One estimate is that it produces 26,132 jobs directly and 17,541 indirect jobs for a total of 43,670.

Why this isn't a priority for Morales' government? Could be ideological disdain both for the private sector actors and the US. More to the point, loudly trumpeting Chavez' well as punishing business owners opposed to his rule. Or also could be that there is one group of private sector exporters and producers that Morales is heeding. The ones who don't want the DEA poking in their business anymore.

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