AGOA Out-of-Cycle Reviews - Document Downloads
SMART Out-of-Cycle review petition regarding Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania
I am writing on behalf of the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART) to request that the Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) beneficiary countries Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda launch an out-of-cycle review of and Uganda as provided for under section 111(d)(4) of the AGOA (19 U.S.C. 2466a(d)(4)). As we will expand up....(...) Download the document to read the full petition
Submission from the African Cotton and Textile Industries Federation (ACTIF)
The African Cotton and Textile Industries Federation (ACTIF) is a trade association whose members come from the cotton, textile and apparel industries in 24 countries from all regions of Africa, including Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Based in Nairobi, Kenya, ACTIF is the only pan-African organization that represents the full African cotton-textile-apparel value chain. Many of our members export apparel to the United States under AGOA. AGOA’s biggest success story to date has been the creation of textile and apparel manufacturing in several African countries. The cotton-textile-apparel value chain encouraged by AGOA has created literally hundreds of thousands of direct jobs and millions of indirect jobs in support sectors across several African countries. We respectfully request that during your Out-Of-Cycle review of Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda deliberations you consider the following: (...) See more by downloading the document
Comments by Rwanda on the OOCR
The 2015 EAC Heads of State Summit agreed to gradually reduce the importation of 2nd-hand clothes & footwear to promote the textile, apparel and leather industries in the region. In that perspective the Government of Rwanda developed a 2017-2019 action plan for the transformation of textiles, apparel and leather industrial sectors in order to increase the quality and quantity of textile, apparel and leather products for both local and foreign markets. It is estimated that, if everything is implemented, this could create 25,655 jobs, increase the exports to US$ 43 million and decrease the imports of these products to US$ 33 million by 2019 (from $124 million in 2015). The impact on the trade balance will result in saving of US$ 76 million over the 3-year’s period. (...) Read more in the document.
Joint response by various US retailer associations
On behalf of the joint associations representing apparel brands and retailers, we are writing to offer prehearing comments regarding the review of AGOA eligibility for Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.It is our recommendation that this out of cycle review NOT lead to the suspension or termination ofAGOA benefits for these three countries. The AGOA program was recently renewed for a ten‐year period. These countries are now at the beginning stage of undertaking the necessary steps to maximize utilization of the AGOA and to foster sustainable economic growth. Withdrawing benefits now would undermine those initiatives, including those fostering market based economies or leading to the elimination of barriers to U.S. trade and investment. Even the threat of withdrawal induces uncertainty that puts progress toward those reforms in jeopardy. (...) See full comments in the document
Tanzania response to petition OOCR
(1) The EAC Decision on clothing is a legitimate decision meant to industrialize the region by using abundant raw materials [cotton, textile] as one of the top priorities in the region. The Decision takes into account the EAC industrialization policy approved by the EAC Summit in November 2011 which aims at transforming the region into modern industrial economies through high value addition industries an increase in manufactured exports, thereby promoting employment and purchasing power, product diversification and increased linkages with other economic sectors. (2) The EAC Decision is yet to be implemented. Therefore, there is no scientific proof that changes in the trade pattern and other macroeconomic variable [jobs, trade patterns, shipping etc] were caused by the EAC decision to phase out importation of second hand clothing and leather as pointed out in the petition and therefore the claim cannot be justified. (...) See more by downloading the document
Testimony from the East African Community
The East African Community (EAC), as a key stakeholder, wishes to submit a response and comments on the SMART Petition as follows: 1. Industrialization is a strategic pillar of EAC integration and the Heads of State decided that textiles and footwear manufacturing is a priority. The decision did not slap a ban on the importation of textiles but is an initiative to promote the textile and footwear industry while progressively phasing out used textiles on a gradual basis. 2. The Common External Tariff is compliant with the WTO requirements in regard to tariff binding and the two trade policy reviews undertaken by the WTO in 2006 and 2012 fully endorsed the EAC trade regime as satisfactory and compatible with WTO. 3. The rate on used clothing was thereafter revised downwards to 35% or $0.20 after realizing that the rise of the rate would negatively impact on the used garment sector in the region. It should be noted that the adoption of specific rate alternately with the ad valorem rate was to address the challenges of valuation of used clothing. (...) See more by downloading the document.
Summary of testimony by SMART
Lawrence Bogard, on behalf of the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association ("SMART") will testify as to the following: • SMART is the trade association that represents mostly small- and medium-sized companies (non-profit and for-profit) that are involved in using, converting, and recycling pre- and post- consumer textiles -- otherwise known as used or secondhand clothing. • SMART requested this out-of-cycle review because in March 2016, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda issued a Joint Communique in which they announced a ban on the importation of used clothing into its member countries. The first phases of the ban have come into effect. These tariff increases are so high that they amount to a de facto ban on secondhand clothing imports. • SMART is aware of news reports that Kenya has recently announced that it will impose "minimum tariffs" on containers of "used goods." Depending on how the Kenyan government interprets the term "used goods" this action threatens to negate Kenya's announced roll back of its tariffs on imported used clothing. For this reason, SMART requests that Kenya also be included in this out-of-cycle review. (...) Download the document to see the full details
Public comments by SMART
Dear Trade Policy Staff Committee: On behalf of our client, the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association ("SMART"), we hereby respond to the invitation of the Trade Policy Staff Committee ("TPSC") to comment regarding the out-of-cycle review of African Growth and Opportunity Act ("AGOA") beneficiary countries Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda as provided for under§ 11 l(d)(2)(a) of AGOA (19 U.S.C. § 2466a(d)(2)(a)) (...) see more by downloading the document
EAC response to SMART petition
The EAC Secretariat has learnt of a notice for a public hearing by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) scheduled on 13th July 2017 in regard to a petition made on 21st March 2017 by the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART) requesting for an out-of-cycle review to determine whether the Republic of Kenya, Republic of Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania, and Republic of Uganda are meeting the AGOA eligibility criteria. The EAC is a regional integration bloc comprising of six Partner States of which the four countries indicated in the petition are active members. Since 2005 and 2010 the EAC has been implementing a Customs Union and Common Market respectively, whereby the trade policies and regimes have been harmonized. Given the common trade implementation framework that is engrained in the common EAC Protocols and laws, the EAC Secretariat feels obliged as a key stakeholder to provide a response and clarification to the petition as required in the notice for public hearing.
Request for comments and notice of public hearing concerning an out-of-cycle review of Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda eligibility for benefits under AGOA
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), in consultation with the Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC), is announcing the initiation of an out-of-cycle review of the eligibility of the Republic of Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania, and Republic of Uganda to receive benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in response to a petition. The AGOA Subcommittee of the TPSC (Subcommittee) will consider written comments, written testimony, and oral testimony in response to this notice to develop recommendations for the President as to whether the Republic of Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania, and Republic of Uganda are meeting the AGOA eligibility criteria. June 30, 2017: Deadline for filing requests to appear at the July 13, 2017 public hearing, and for filing pre-hearing briefs, statements, or comments on the AGOA eligibility of the Republic of Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania, and Republic of Uganda. July 13, 2017: The AGOA Implementation Subcommittee of the TPSC will convene a public hearing on the AGOA eligibility of the Republic of Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania, and Republic of Uganda. July 21, 2017: Deadline for filing post-hearing briefs, statements, or comments on this matter.