Bolivia 'boosting' anti-drug efforts
NEWS.au.com September 13, 2006
is moderately optimistic it will win an
extension of United States trade preferences
that are conditioned on fighting cocaine
production because it is boosting anti-drug
efforts, the country's vice president said
Linera told Reuters in an interview that he
presented an update on Bolivia's drug fight to
State Department officials, including the top
U.S. diplomat for Latin America, Thomas Shannon,
The fight against
drugs is one of the central points in the Andean
Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act, or
ATPDEA, which is due to expire at the end of the
year. The program gives top cocaine-producing
countries in South America expanded duty-free
access to the United States in an effort to
boost their legal industry and job
If it is not
renewed, Bolivia – the world's third-largest
producer of cocaine – will face higher tariffs
on its exports to the United States.
moderately optimistic about the extension of the
trade preference," Garcia Linera said in the
"The new strategy
of the (drug) fight is the intensification of
prohibition, better control of the borders to
prevent the entry of acids and components to
prepare the drug and more police raids," he said
in Washington, where he is on his second visit
in two months.
that Bolivia wants to improve relations with the
United States on all levels.
said the numbers prove that Bolivia is doing its
job in the cocaine battle.
He said Bolivia
is eradicating 25ha to 27ha of coca a day, up
from 5ha a day earlier this year, and will wipe
out 5200ha this year, meeting its commitment to
the United States.
and Peru also receive benefits under the Andean
program, which could expire in December if the
U.S. Congress does not approve their extension.
Peru and Colombia
are also waiting for Congress to ratify free
trade agreements negotiated with the United
States, which would end the benefits.