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The Thai Embassy has hired Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld to monitor a debate over a trade preferences program that expires at the end of the year, according to lobbying disclosure documents filed with the Justice Department late last month.

Unless Congress reauthorizes it, the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences, which allows certain imports from developing countries to enter the United States duty-free, will expire at the end of the year. Thailand is one of more than 100 countries in the program. Thai exports affected include radial tires and some agricultural products, though the country lost benefits for jewelry products in 2007.

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