News Search

AAFA: Africa ‘logical’ choice for brands fleeing China

The American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) urged the office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to renew the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), as U.S. brands and retailers look to diversify sourcing. While the trade agreement’s expiration is still three years away, the Washington, D.C.-based trade group believes that establishing long-term, forward-looking policy will help brands commit to new sourcing strategies with the 36 AGOA-eligible sub-Saharan African nations. “U.S. investment in the region...

29 June 2022 | Kate Nishimura

US apparel sector requests “at least” ten-year AGOA renewal

The American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) is urging the US Trade Representative (USTR) to renew the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) for at least another ten years, noting as companies are poised to diversify out of China, Africa is a logical place for many of them. In a letter to William Shpiece, chair of the Trade Policy Staff Committee for USTR, Beth Hughes, vice president of trade and customs policy for the AAFA, says if AGOA were to be renewed this year for at least another ten years, companies would have the...

24 June 2022 | Laura Husband

US starts resetting trade ties with Kenya to reflect Biden priorities

The US government on Monday started reshaping trade deals with Kenya to reflect the priorities of the Joe Biden administration, American officials said. The US and Kenya agreed to discuss an “ambitious” trade arrangement with “high-standard commitments” in key areas including agriculture, digital trade and climate change, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced on Monday. The USTR stated this after the US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Kenya's Trade Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina met on Monday...

15 June 2022 | Brian Ngugi

Kenya, US revisit trade talks, agree to expedite process

Kenya and the US have revisited trade talks between the two countries as ministers meet at the World Trade Organization's 12th Ministerial Conference in Geneva. As a next step, the two countries have agreed to work to finalise a list of areas for cooperation to deepen economic engagement. This was during an engagement between the US Trade Representative ambassador Katherine Tai and Kenya’s Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina. The two have agreed to meet again in the coming weeks to...

14 June 2022 | MARTIN MWITA

Nigeria: US-American chamber seeks shippers’ nod to boost non-oil exports

The Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) has sought partnership with Nigerian shippers to maximally utilise the United States’ African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). AGOA is a key component of US/African strategy that focuses on increasing African non-oil exports to the US. The Executive Secretary of the Abuja chapter of NACC, Ayo Salaam, disclosed that Nigerian companies had not taken advantage of AGOA because they exported mainly oil products to the US despite the availability of the programme for several years. Speaking...

12 June 2022 | Abdullateef Salau

Nigerian shippers urged to take advantage of second chance of AGOA

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian – American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), Mr. Ayo Salam has urged Nigerian exporters, in particular, shippers to take advantage of the second window of opportunities by African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) which lapses in September 2025 to advance trade and export with the United States of America. This is as he promised to assist Nigerian exporters and shoppers leverage on the 6500 export items authorized by the bilateral trading window. Mr. Salam said this at the meeting of the NACC in conjunction...

09 June 2022 | Ada Ada

Namibia: Trade ministry and USAID TradeHub bring AGOA capacity building into focus

Last year, Namibia launched its AGOA Utilisation Strategy with the objective of diversifying and increasing its exports to the United States of America under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The strategy chiefly seeks to assist Namibia to develop its competitiveness in utilising the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) that provides eligible countries with duty free access to the lucrative USA market.  Now, Namibia through the trade ministry in collaboration with USAID TradeHub, will host two hybrid events, focused on...

06 June 2022

Nigeria, US to leverage AGOA for improved trade ties

The United States of America (USA) Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, has disclosed that Nigeria will continue to be eligible for preferential trade access to the US market under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Leonard, during a visit to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, said Nigeria became eligible after a review of the criteria set by the US Congress under AGOA. According to her, the criteria for eligibility among other things, include the establishment of a market-based economy, rule...

01 June 2022

US looks beyond delayed free trade deal in commercial ties with Kenya

The US government is looking beyond a delayed trade deal with Kenya to expand commercial ties between the two countries amid Nairobi’s mounting frustration with Washington's slow pace to conclude the deal. In a new report submitted to the US Congress by Joe Biden’s top trade diplomat Katherine Tai, the US government revealed it would pursue “other means” of deepening trade engagements with Kenya in the absence of a free trade agreement (FTA). “(We will) engage with Kenya to deepen bilateral trade, potentially through an FTA or...

30 May 2022 | Brian Ngugi

US Senate starts hearings on Biden Administration's proposed envoy to Kenya, other countries

United States (US) lawmakers have started grilling President Joe Biden’s nominee for ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman, raising hopes she will finally take up the crucial diplomatic post nearly six months after she was picked for the role. The billionaire’s nomination which was made last December has been pending approval by the US Senate. Biden nominated the Democratic Party donor and former eBay and Hewlett-Packard CEO as his envoy to Nairobi in a telling sign of Kenya’s growing economic and diplomatic clout with the US. Republican...

27 May 2022 | BRIAN NGUGI

Kenya 'reaps Sh10 billion after Ethiopia's ban from AGOA deal'

Kenya earned an additional Sh10.2 billion from its exports to the US as Nairobi reaped big from Ethiopia’s suspension from a duty-free trade pact. Last year, Kenya’s exports to the US — mostly apparel were valued at Sh59.6 billion, a jump of more than a fifth from Sh49.4 billion in 2020 as Kenyan traders sold more goods through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), a free trade agreement between Washington and select African countries. This saw the US overtake Pakistan to become Kenya’s third-largest export market behind...

24 May 2022

The 'three issues that will make or break the Prosper Africa initiative'

The U.S. government’s Prosper Africa program, launched in 2019, aims to double two-way trade and investment between the United States and African countries and, in doing so, to put a new face on American foreign policy in Africa. Despite the initiative’s embrace by two separate administrations, it has so far been slow to live up to expectations. The Prosper Africa Act, a draft piece of bipartisan legislation put forward in the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, now languishes in Congress, overshadowed by other crises and attracting...

18 May 2022 | Zainab Usman, Katie Auth

'South Africa sticks to protectionist policy while AGOA slips through our fingers'

South Africa is set to lose its preferential access to the US under the African Growth and Opportunities Act (Agoa) — a piece of American legislation allowing preferential access to the US market for African countries — when it expires in December 2025. It isn’t likely that this can be avoided. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We were never meant to benefit from AGOA, and if not for Nelson Mandela chatting with Bill Clinton in the late 1990s we never would have. Lower import duties in the US for cars made in SA have been the...

15 May 2022 | Donald MacKay

Kenya’s AGOA exports climb to Sh50 billion

Export of duty-free goods to the US under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) has crossed the Sh50 billion mark after declining last year. Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) indicates that the value grew by 20 percent, marking one of the biggest leaps in seven years. The goods, mainly textile products, increased from Sh42.2 billion in 2020 to Sh50.6 billion in the review period. “All the selected indicators under the EPZ garment and apparel sub-sector reported growths in 2021,” said the KNBS. Capital...

10 May 2022

How the United States can help shape Africa’s future

The Department of State’s Bureau of Africa Affairs provides three core objectives for U.S. foreign policy towards Africa: “1) Advancing trade and commercial ties with key African states to increase the U.S. and African prosperity; 2) Protecting the United States from cross-border health and security threats; and 3) Supporting key African states’ progress toward stability, citizen-responsive governance, and self-reliance.” Examining these objectives and their on-the-ground impacts, separating health and security threats, creates...

07 May 2022 | Dramane Chabi Bouko

Inside the burning issues as Kenya-US trade talks resume

Kenyan trade officials and their American counterparts resumed talks on a proposed free trade pact that holds the potential of boosting exports to the world’s largest market, but one that critics fear could expose local firms up to unfair competition from American companies. US trade officials jetted into the country on Sunday to iron out pending concerns by President Joe Biden’s administration that have delayed the deal. High on the worries of American negotiators are issues such as intellectual property practices, corruption in...

05 May 2022

New round of Kenya-US trade talks starts

The US government and Kenya will from Tuesday start another round of trade talks, signalling a fresh direction after the Biden administration froze Trump-era negotiations on the free trade agreement. “Kenya-US trade and investments experts are set to have in-person meetings scheduled for 3rd May to 6th May,” said Kenya’s trade ministry while announcing the meetings will not be open to the press. Assistant United States Trade Representative (USTR) for African Affairs Constance Hamilton lead a delegation to Kenya to explore...

02 May 2022 | BRIAN NGUGI

USTR to lead delegation to Kenya to explore trade, investment

Assistant United States Trade Representative (USTR) for African Affairs Constance Hamilton will lead a delegation to Kenya on May 1 to explore opportunities for enhanced trade and investment engagement, USTR spokesperson Adam Hodge said on Friday. The delegation will include subject-matter experts from USTR and the Departments of State, Labor, Commerce and Agriculture, he said. The visit follows recent meetings between top U.S. trade negotiator Katherine Tai and Kenyan Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina in which the two agreed to work on...

29 April 2022

Uganda’s AGOA export suffered as a result of Covid pandemic

Uganda’s export earnings have dropped tremendously in the last two years as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic that hit the country, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) officials have observed.  [ AGOA.info note: See US import data from Uganda by program below].  Uganda is one African country whose exports are eligible for tariff and quota-free access to the US market under the Agoa initiative. Mr Benson Byaruhanga, the Agoa economist, told Monitor in an interview yesterday that the country’s export...

14 April 2022 | Precious Delilah

US protests Kenya’s ban on GMO products

The United States government has slammed Kenya for its failure to approve imported genetically modified (GM) foods and crops saying the measure is restricting its exports. The US Trade Representative's office (USTR) said in its annual report approval by Nairobi could boost agricultural purchases from the US by Kenya which is the world’s biggest producer of GMO crops. Kenya has been reluctant to approve the import or planting of genetically modified food crops since November 2012, amid an ongoing debate about the safety of GMO crops,...

13 April 2022

Trade Imperatives for American manufacturers

U.S. industrial production has risen by two-thirds in the past 30 years. Manufacturing has bounced back from the pandemic recession and today employs 12.6 million Americans, with average earnings topping $30 per hour. American manufacturers are on a roll. In sharp contrast to the “we don’t make anything here” refrain commonly heard in Washington, U.S. industrial production has risen by two-thirds in the past 30 years in inflation-adjusted terms. Manufacturing has bounced back from the pandemic recession and today...

06 April 2022

US Senator requests return of Ethiopia to AGOA

A U.S senator has requested the senate to return Ethiopia to AGOA as it has been progressing in many aspects. U.S. Senator from Virginia Mark Warner said the U.S. should strengthen and improve the trade relationship between Africa specifically Ethiopia. The Ethiopian government has been pending progress in many aspects, especially the ceasefire. The trade relation between Africa specifically with Ethiopia is important. “We do that carefully there are very large Diaspora Ethiopians in Virginia and others. My hope is we can improve the...

05 April 2022 | Helen Tadesse

Angola: USAID seeks to boost Angola's exports to USA

Angolan entrepreneurs will be able to export agricultural products, beverages and others to the United States of America market, through the mediation of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This information was provided today by the Acting Minister Counselor of the US Embassy in Angola, Christopher Hattayer, noting that the United States had been supporting efforts to increase economic growth in Angola since 2021 via the Southern African Trade and Investment Hub (USAID TradeHub). Speaking at an event to...

04 April 2022

AWIEF launches a USAID funded program: Enhanced SME investment and export readiness through a digital platform

Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) (www.AWIEForum.org) in partnership with USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub (USAID TradeHub) is proud to launch a new program which will increase the investor, export readiness and competitiveness of 100 SMEs in Southern Africa. The USAID funded ‘Enhanced Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Investment and Export Readiness Through a Digital Platform’ program is aimed at SMEs in Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zambia who...

01 April 2022

Mauritius drives to diversify as manufacturing stalls

Much of island’s economic success was built on textiles but rising labour costs underline need for high-tech products.Next to the motorway, heading north from Mauritius’ international airport, is a row of boxy apartment blocks festooned with washing hung out to dry. These are the cramped dormitories of thousands of foreign textile workers, the majority from Bangladesh. The hostels, which also house workers from Madagascar and Nepal, illustrate a dilemma for Mauritius. As the economy has grown more successful, wages have risen sharply,...

01 April 2022

Sen. Toomey: Administration’s failure to move FTAs forward comes at huge cost to US

During today’s Senate Finance Committee Hearing with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) questioned the Biden Administration’s inaction on free trade agreements (FTAs) and the implication that FTAs are not a tool for the 21stcentury. On the importance of free trade agreements: “Every single presidential administration since Reagan has initiated negotiations on a new [free trade agreement]. They’ve done this to increase market access and to help U.S. industries and workers grow and thrive. “The...

31 March 2022

Kenya, US set for agriculture trade deals

Kenya and US are set for agriculture trade deals. President Joe Biden’s top Agriculture minister said the US government will dispatch top agricultural officials and farmers’ representatives for a week-long trade mission in Nairobi later this year to scout for trade opportunities for American farmers and exporters. The delegation comprising businesses, farm organisations, and teams from various agriculture departments in the US government are expected in Kenya from October 31 to November 3. US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said...

23 March 2022 | Anita Anyango

US agriculture chiefs set to scout for Kenya trade deals

The US government will dispatch top agricultural officials and farmers’ representatives for a week-long trade mission in Nairobi later this year to scout for trade opportunities for American farmers and exporters. President Joe Biden’s top Agriculture minister said the delegation comprising businesses, farm organisations, and teams from various agriculture departments in the US government are expected in Kenya from October 31 to November 3. US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said the trade mission will connect Kenyan exporters and...

21 March 2022

AFCFTA and AGOA are opportunities for African diaspora – BHF Coordinator

The maiden edition of the Black History Festival (BHF) in USA which came off from February 21 to 28 in Washington DC has become an eye-opener for African diaspora about the scads of opportunities that exist in Africa, with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) and African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) as windows. Coordinator for BHF, Stephen Selassie Asuo said “Recently, the commencement of the AFCTA and the AGOA has opened more opportunities for the African Diaspora to connect with the continent for trade, innovation and...

16 March 2022 | Nana Kwesi Coomson

Kenya private sector alliance recruits first beneficiaries of Kenya-US trade initiative

The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), has announced the recruitment of the first cohort of twenty-five businesses in the Kenya-US Small and Medium Enterprises Trade Initiative. The twenty-five local SMEs, looking to either scale up globally or grow exports to the US market, will be provided with sector-specific information on business opportunities in the US markets. This is in addition to imports and exports business exchanges among other initiatives aimed at improving market access and linkages between SMEs in the two...

16 March 2022

US legislators seek to codify the Prosper Africa Act

 In January 2022, representatives McCaul (R-TX) and Murphy (D-FL) put forward the Prosper Africa Act (H.R.6455) to codify the existing Prosper Africa initiative into law. This program strives to increase investment and trade cooperation among the United States and African nations. Since 2019, the initiative enabled almost 800 deals worth $50 billion. The codification of Prosper Africa will benefit the program by making its compliance legally binding and ensuring that it receives support over the next seven years....

14 March 2022 | Gonzalo Rodriguez

USTR releases 2022 President’s Trade Policy Agenda and 2021 Annual Report

Ambassador Katherine Tai and the Office of the United States Trade Representative today delivered President Biden’s 2022 Trade Policy Agenda and 2021 Annual Report to Congress. This report details USTR’s work to implement the Biden Administration’s trade priorities and advance a worker-centered trade policy. “President Biden believes that America is at its best when we are leading on the world stage to deliver economic prosperity and growth to our citizens and communities,” Ambassador Tai said. “The 2022 Trade Policy...

10 March 2022

Biden Administration signalling possible resumption of trade talks with Kenya?

The Biden administration has given an indication of a possible resumption of trade talks between the US and Kenya. The two nations commenced negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) in July 2020, with a view of drafting a comprehensive agreement that would act as a model for similar pacts between the US and other African countries. But discussions around the agreement died down after Biden took over from his predecessor Donald Trump in January last year. The Biden administration has been conducting a forensic review of all agreements...

08 March 2022 | John Wanjohi

Farming, textiles hold key to Kenya’s exports

Agriculture, textiles and minerals could spur Kenya’s export output in the next decade, Standard Chartered Bank says. In a report titled Future of Trade 2030: Trends and Markets to Watch, the bank identifies major corridors and five trends shaping the future of global trade. Kenya is the only East African country in the top 13 countries that will experience major export growth in the next 10 years. The research also found that 10 percent of global companies currently are or plan to manufacture in Kenya within the next five to 10...

08 March 2022 | ANTHONY KITIMO

US seeks more investment opportunities in Africa

The US government is exploring ways to expand trade and investment opportunities in Africa, in a bid to scramble for the control of the continent’s raw materials with other world’s powerful nations such as China and Russia. The US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Akunna Cook said the country has yet to deepen its presence in Africa, which has a population of about 1.3 billion people.  “We have been behind the curve for quite some time in terms of really taking advantage of the opportunities on the continent… the great...

25 February 2022 | JAMES ANYANZWA

US investors eye bigger share of Kenyan market

US President Joe Biden’s administration and American firms are expected to announce new investments in Kenya across sectors such as energy, health and agri-business as top officials and business delegation land in Nairobi this week. A brief released ahead of the visit by the US government seen by Business Daily said US deputy assistant secretary of State Akunna Cook and Prosper Africa acting chief operating officer Leslie Marbury will travel to Kenya alongside Nigeria, South Africa, and Namibia on an economic diplomacy visit,...

16 February 2022 | BRIAN NGUGI

AGOA to stimulate Nigeria’s economic growth – NEPC

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has called on exporters to take advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) to stimulate the country’s economic growth. NEPC Executive Director and Chief Executive Director, Dr Ezra Yakusak, said this at a sensitisation workshop on eligibility criteria and documentation for AGOA organised by the Council in Owerri on Monday. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the AGOA is a legislation approved by the US congress on May 18, 2000 for a 15 year-tenure to assist the...

07 February 2022

US engaged in 'robust' talks with Kenya, more to say in coming weeks - USTR

The U.S. government is engaging in robust talks with Kenya as part of its drive to expand equitable and inclusive U.S. trade investment on the African continent, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi said on Tuesday. Bianchi told a trade conference that USTR would have more to say on Kenya in coming weeks, but gave no details. "We have been doing a lot of robust engagement with Kenya. We're exploring ways to deepen our trade and investment relationship there," she said. "We'll have more to say on Kenya in the coming weeks, but we...

02 February 2022 | Andrea Shalal and David Lawder

Opinion: Foreign investment is Africa's best shot at growth, but its share is still pitiful

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken's visit to Kenya, Nigeria and Senegal in November 2021 was a rare event for an administration's first year, cautiously signalling the US's aim to reconnect with Africa and to recover confidence in the former's commitment to democracy. With various promising moves in the pipeline, such as the appointment of a programme head for the Prosper Africa initiative, there may be movement with the African development agenda, especially in terms of foreign direct investment (FDI). This is crucial, because as...

22 January 2022 | Bob Wekesa

US Congress: Representatives McCaul, Murphy introduce Prosper Africa Act

House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) introduced the Prosper Africa Act to codify interagency efforts and promote, facilitate and increase two-way trade and investment between the United States and Africa.  “Advancing two-way trade and investment between the U.S. and African partners must be a key foreign policy priority,” said Rep. McCaul. “The establishment of the Prosper Africa Initiative in 2019 was an important step, but much more is...

21 January 2022

Namibia: Ambassador keen to expand country's Meatco market

Namibian ambassador to the USA Margaret Mensah-Williams recently conducted a familiarisation visit at Meatco, expressing her satisfaction at the manner the institution is operating and fulfilling its mandate.   Mensah-Williams, who was welcomed by Meatco CEO Mwilima Mushokabanji, was particularly impressed by the vast experience and knowledge Meatco has in producing high-quality beef products that are highly competitive in the advanced economy such as that of the United States of America.  “The niche we can find to grow the...

20 January 2022

In Ethiopia, Guinea and Mali, fears rise over losing duty-free access to US market

For Sammy Abdella, the new year has brought bad tidings: the prospect of a steep drop in sales of scarves, rugs, baskets and other textile goods produced by Sammy Handmade in Ethiopia. “The U.S. market is our main destination,” said Abdella, who estimates it accounts for nearly two-thirds of sales for his Addis Ababa-based home decor and fashion company. “So, losing that put us in a very, you know, bad situation.” The source of Abdella’s stress? Effective January 1, Ethiopia was one of three countries — including Guinea and...

20 January 2022 | Moctar Barry, Kadiatou Traore, Zakaria Camara

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman asks US trade commission to investigate impact of AGOA program

Today, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) sent a letter to U.S. International Trade Commission (Commission) Chairman Jason E. Kearns requesting that the Commission initiate a fact-finding investigation on the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), a trade program that fosters economic development in the countries of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Chairman Neal’s request reflects deep interest among members of the Committee on the U.S.-Africa trade and investment relationship and follows recent Committee...

19 January 2022 | Congressman Richard Neal

Kenyan textile company eyes export market through new Zanzibar facility

A Kenyan company is setting up a $51.3 million (about Sh115 billion) factory in Zanzibar as it targets to get a pie of the world’s $920 billion textile market. The global textile industry was estimated at around $920 billion in 2018, and it was projected to reach approximately $1,230 billion by 2024, available global data show. With its $51.3 million factory at Chunguni area in Zanzibar, Basra Textiles Limited is specifically targeting export markets across East and Central Africa, its company chief executive officer, Mr Ahmed Othman,...

12 January 2022 | Gadiosa Lamtey

What does the US decision to delist three African countries from AGOA status imply?

Trade is one highly significant part of Africa’s story. Its pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial transitions are all marked by trade. But for many years, African trade has struggled with several challenges: poor infrastructure, high transaction costs, opportunism and unfriendly policies. So when President Bill Clinton signed the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in 2000, African countries were given a competitive edge by providing unilateral duty-free exports for 6,500 products from Africa to the United States. But that...

11 January 2022 | Oluwatosin Ogunjuyigbe

South African lemon juice producers may be slapped with anti-dumping duties, if a petition in the US succeeds

Makers of lemon juice in South Africa may be slapped with anti-dumping duties by the US, if a petition against them succeeds next month. On 30 December, a US citrus juice maker, Ventura Coastal, filed a petition with the United States International Trade Commission, requesting that the US government impose anti-dumping duties on lemon juice from South Africa and Brazil. It alleges that lemon juice from South Africa and Brazil is sold at less than fair value in the US. Should the petition succeed and anti-dumping tariffs be imposed, South...

10 January 2022 | Ntando Thukwana

Will Biden deliver on his commitment to Africa in 2022?

When he was running to win the White House, President Joe Biden’s campaign committed to implement a “bold strategy” toward Africa, and one that would be based on a “mutually respectful engagement” and a reinvigorated diplomacy, if elected. Indeed, the campaign was the first ever to outline how it would promote the interests of the African diaspora in the United States. On his 16th day in office, President Biden sent a video message to African leaders attending the 34th African Union Summit that promised...

10 January 2022

US takes Ethiopia, Mali, Guinea off AGOA program

The United States on Saturday cut Ethiopia, Mali and Guinea from access to a duty-free trade program, following through on President Joe Biden's threat to do so over accusations of human rights violations and recent coups. "The United States today terminated Ethiopia, Mali and Guinea from the AGOA trade preference program due to actions taken by each of their governments in violation of the AGOA Statute," the U.S. Trade Representative's office said in a statement. Biden said in November that Ethiopia would be cut off from the duty-free...

01 January 2022

Despite a late push, Ethiopia is set to exit the US trade pact

Despite a last-minute drive backed by diaspora members who fear that Washington may lose an ally, Ethiopia is likely to lose important commercial privileges in the United States on January 1 due to human rights concerns. President Joe Biden said on November 2 that Ethiopia, a longtime US ally and the continent’s second most populous country, will be removed from the African Growth and Opportunity Act in the New Year, citing “grave violations” in the year-long conflict with Tigrayan rebels. The Ethiopian government has fought hard...

30 December 2021 | GEORGE MACKIE

US President terminates AGOA preferences for Ethiopia, Mali and Guinea

U.S. President Joe Biden announced yesterday that he has “determined that Ethiopia, Guinea, and Mali do not meet” the AGOA requirements described in section 506A(a)(1) and has proceeded to “terminate the designation of the three countries as beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries …effective January 1, 2022.” On November 21, the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs lamented the impending decision by the U.S. to remove Ethiopia from AGOA privileges and called it “misguided and fails to take into account the commitment of the...

24 December 2021