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'Trump’s Africa policy is a continuation of Clinton’s, Bush’s, and Obama’s'

'Trump’s Africa policy is a continuation of Clinton’s, Bush’s, and Obama’s'

President Trump’s Africa policy appears to be off to a bad start. First, there was the unfortunate leak of a remark made privately to a group of U.S. senators in February in which the President referred to African nations as “shithole countries.” Secondly, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s official goodwill visit to several African countries in March was spoiled by the fact that he had to cut his visit short by one day because he heard that the president was about to dismiss him. Nevertheless, there are clear signs that...

23 April 2018 | Herman J. Cohen
Nigeria-America Chamber of Commerce set to build AGOA export park in Edo State

Nigeria-America Chamber of Commerce set to build AGOA export park in Edo State

The Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) has expressed readiness to partner the Edo State Government in the development of an export zone to explore opportunities in the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). This was disclosed by delegation of the Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce led by the chamber’s Vice Chairman, Alhaji Abayomi Adigun, on a courtesy visit at the Government House in Benin City, Edo State. Alhaji Adigun said the chamber reached a decision to set-up the AGOA Park in Edo State to facilitate export of...

19 April 2018
Nigeria: Retooling AGOA trade policy to boost export

Nigeria: Retooling AGOA trade policy to boost export

Nigeria has lots of trade agreements with many economic partners meant not just to strengthen bilateral trade cooperation, but also to see that the agreements are of win-win situation. Some of the trade treaties are, however, not making any significant inputs to the economy and therefore due for periodic review. Though, some may be tedious and deliberately made difficult for review by the more favoured partner(s). However, there is no doubt that it is time for the Federal Government to have a second look at past trade agreements that are...

19 April 2018 | TAIWO HASSAN
Opinion: 'America’s petty policy on used clothes for Africa'

Opinion: 'America’s petty policy on used clothes for Africa'

Fostering international development has long been viewed as central to the moral, humanitarian, strategic and security interests of the United States.  In particular, there is one area where the United States has been a leader in development assistance — providing trade preferences to African countries, most of which are low-income countries.  This has been achieved through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which was initially passed by U.S. Congress in 2000 and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. The...

17 April 2018 | Garth Frazer
Rwanda: 'Cotton returns as used clothes'

Rwanda: 'Cotton returns as used clothes'

Contrary to suspicion, Rwanda is not trying to undermine US hegemony in Africa in favour of China by phasing out used clothes. Consequently, President Trump’s AGOA salvo, which will find support in the US Congress, which is deeply suspicious of China, is a ploy to tame African leaders. The US has suspended the duty free status for Rwandan apparel under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. Rwanda, in a brief statement released on April 3, indicated that this followed a decision in March 2016 by EAC member countries to raise tariffs on...

17 April 2018 | Ngovi Kitau
Uganda yet to exploit AGOA opportunity – Ambassador Malac

Uganda yet to exploit AGOA opportunity – Ambassador Malac

The US Ambassador to Uganda, Deborah Malac, has said Uganda has not taken full advantage of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Uganda is one of 38 African countries eligible for tariff-free and quota-free access to the US market. AGOA allows over 6,000 products to be exported to America. The AGOA arrangement has been in place for close to eighteen years but there are concerns that Uganda has not fully exploited this preferential trade opportunity. Ambassador Malac in an interface with journalists at the US Embassy in Kampala...

14 April 2018
Chamber: we are committed to promoting AGOA in Nigeria

Chamber: we are committed to promoting AGOA in Nigeria

The Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) has said it remains committed to promoting the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in Nigeria to give fillip to the Federal Government’s ongoing non-oil export drive aimed at diversifying the economy. Its President, Mr. Olabitan Famutimi, gave the commitment at the chamber’s breakfast meeting in Lagos, during the week. AGOA is the cornerstone of the United State (U.S.) trade and investment policy in Africa. The programme, signed into law by the U.S. Congress in 2000, is a...

14 April 2018 | Ambrose Nnaji
Nigeria yet to reap benefits of AGOA since 2008, re-strategises

Nigeria yet to reap benefits of AGOA since 2008, re-strategises

Nigeria is yet to benefit from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), after it was signed into law in May, 2008. Mr Aliyu Abubakar, the Deputy Director, Trade Department, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday. Abubakar said that a draft strategy had been developed to ensure that the country benefitted from the act. According to him, AGOA is a unilateral trade preference programme that aims at increasing U.S. trade and investment with...

08 April 2018
Rwanda: 'Withdrawal of AGOA benefits at discretion of US'

Rwanda: 'Withdrawal of AGOA benefits at discretion of US'

Rwanda has commended the United States government for having initiated the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and said it was at the discretion of Washington to withdraw AGOA benefits.  This is contained in a statement by the Ministry of Trade and Industry released Tuesday a few days after the US announced the intention to suspend Rwanda from the list of countries whose apparel exports enter the American market duty-free. The decision by the US is a result of a move by East African countries to raise tariffs used clothes to...

03 April 2018
US suspends duty-free benefits for Rwandan textile imports

US suspends duty-free benefits for Rwandan textile imports

The U.S. said it plans to suspend duty-free access to Rwandan textile imports because of the African nation’s refusal to lower trade barriers for American-made clothing and shoes. The suspension applies to all AGOA-eligible apparel products from Rwanda in 60 days, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said in a statement on Thursday. The USTR last year began an “out-of-cycle" review to determine the eligibility of Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda to keep their trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. AGOA, which was...

29 March 2018 | Sarah McGregor
SMART announces 'successful trade outcome with the East African Community'

SMART announces 'successful trade outcome with the East African Community'

Representatives of the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART) were notified today by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) that a proposed ban on secondhand clothing imports from the U.S. by members of the East African Community (EAC) will not be implemented by four out of the five countries who originally proposed the ban. Kenya announced their decision to back off from the ban in 2017, and Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi have now officially announced their decision to roll back the ban. SMART, a...

29 March 2018
President Trump updates trade preference program eligibility for Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda

President Trump updates trade preference program eligibility for Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda

The President determined today the eligibility of Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda for trade preference benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). In response to a petition filed by the U.S. used clothing industry in March 2017, the Administration initiated an out-of-cycle review of Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda’s AGOA eligibility regarding their decisions to phase in a ban on imports of used clothing and footwear.  The review found that this import ban harms the U.S. used clothing industry and is inconsistent with...

29 March 2018
Madagascar may be more than a few steps ahead of Ethiopia for sourcing

Madagascar may be more than a few steps ahead of Ethiopia for sourcing

Madagascar may not be getting the same publicity as Ethiopia when it comes to the topic of sourcing in Africa, but the island nation off the southeast coast of the continent has a lot to offer that few are talking about. One thing that sets the nation apart for sourcing is its history in textile manufacturing. Madagascar had already been a go-to source for making apparel in Africa before a coup in 2009 saw the country lose its trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). But its trade privileges under the preference...

21 March 2018 | Tara Donaldson
Ghana taking greater advantage of AGOA — Ambassador Robert Jackson

Ghana taking greater advantage of AGOA — Ambassador Robert Jackson

Ghana is taking greater advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the outgoing American Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Robert Jackson, has said. “Ghanaian non-oil exports to the United States (US) doubled in 2017. We saw continued growth in apparel, as well as new products such as frozen orange juice and dried mango. Ghana’s apparel exports increased from approximately $500,000 in 2010 to $8.5 million in 2017. That number is expected to double again over the next two years,” he stated. Addressing a special farewell...

20 March 2018
US Congress poised to remove hurdles to US-Africa development aid

US Congress poised to remove hurdles to US-Africa development aid

The Senate is set to vote on a bill authorizing the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a U.S. foreign aid agency that gives large grants to developing countries, to enter regional compacts in Africa. What's next: The bill, which passed the House last month, authorizes MCC to support increased regional integration efforts and cross-border trade in Africa by removing single-country investment restrictions. If signed into law by President Trump, the bill will give MCC the freedom to facilitate U.S. engagement in the transportation,...

09 March 2018 | Aubrey Hruby