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Tanzania: Key US Congress members raise concerns about elections and treatment of US investors

The ranking Democratic and Republican members of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Africa are packing a resolution urging the government of Tanzania to respect human and economic rights and to conduct free and fair elections on October 28. House Resolution 1120 – sponsored by California Democrat Karen Bass, who chairs the subcommittee, and the ranking Republican, Chris Smith from New Jersey – reflects growing concern over political and economic developments in Tanzania by members of Congress who follow Africa. Since the election in...

01 October 2020

US warns Kenya over shilling manipulation

The US has warned Kenya against manipulation of the shilling against the dollar during the ongoing talks for a bilateral trade pact. The US is seeking an undertaking that Kenya will let market forces influence the rate of exchange of the shilling to the dollar as part of the trade agreement. This pre-condition in the free trade deal (FTA) echoes past claims by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that Kenya’s currency was overvalued, which drew protests from the central bank governor, Patrick Njoroge. “Ensure that Kenya avoids...

29 September 2020

Kingdom of Lesotho must seize textile manufacturing crown

The country has the right skills in place — now it just needs co-ordination and capacity. The health and economic crisis brought on by Covid-19 has had a global economic effect. From disrupted supply chains to restrictions on the free movement of people and their skills, goods and capital, the world has had to adjust to a “new normal”. A question on the lips of those contemplating filling the void left by the forced rethink of the “one country” risk arising from reliance on factory China is whether Africa can benefit. Lesotho is...

25 September 2020 | MARIE-NOELLE NWOKOLO

US-Africa trade relations: 'Why is AGOA better than a bilateral free trade agreement?'

In recent months, the U.S. began negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement with Kenya. These negotiations are aligned with the current administration’s vision for trade reciprocity rather than unilateral trade preference programs. Although these negotiations could produce the first bilateral trade agreement between the U.S. and a sub-Saharan African country, a shift from regional preferential trade agreements to bilateral free trade agreements could undermine the growth of smaller countries, who may not be of enough economic...

24 September 2020 | Gracelin Baskaran

'Proposed trade between Kenya and US might bring more harm'

On February 6, President Uhuru Kenyatta met with US President Donald Trump at the White House. Following the meeting, the two presidents announced their aim to pursue a free trade agreement between the two countries. By March 2020, President Trump had notified Congress of his intention, the key goal being cited as the need to reach an agreement that builds on the objectives of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The Trump administration and Kenya launched the trade negotiations in early July and both countries have set up a Trade...

20 September 2020 | MUTHONI MATU

US sets lower annual apparel import cap under AGOA

The US has set new lower annual limits on duty and quota-free imports of apparel articles assembled from regional and third-country fabric under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in the upcoming fiscal year. The new figures are released by the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA) for the 12 months from 1 October 2020 to 30 September 2021. The annual limits are set out in the AGOA Acceleration Act of 2004, and are calculated based on the volume of all apparel articles imported into the United States in...

18 September 2020 | Leonie Barrie

AGOA Coalition warns Congress: Duty-free imports sought by US apparel makers would vitiate Africa trade

AGOA Action Coalition letter to Congress on GSP modernization provisions The following letter was sent by the Agoa Action Coalition to the chairman of the U.S. House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade Earl Blumenauer (Democrat-Oregon), as well as the chairman of the full committee, Richard Neal (Democrat-Massachusetts) and ranking Committee member Kevin Brady (Republican-Texas), and ranking Trade Subcommittee member Vern Buchanan (Republican-Florida).   Dear Honorable Chairman Blumenauer & Honorable Members: We write to...

03 September 2020

Event: Live webinar on importing textiles and apparels into the US

Allfashion sourcing launches its first webinar in a series leading up to its virtual event in November. The webinar series is supported by the USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub. Date: 24 August 2020Time: 15h00-17h00Theme: Importing Textiles and Apparels into the United States Join us for a training assembly where experts on the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) program share the tools to successfully access the United States market.The webinar will cover an overview of the relevant legal...

20 August 2020

'Kenya-US free trade talks are under way: what Nairobi must get right from start'

The United States and Kenya formally launched negotiations for a free trade agreement on 8 July 2020. With the US gearing up for presidential elections in a few months, these talks may not draw much global attention. But as a prototype for evaluating the substance of future US-Africa trade relations, a lot rides on Washington using this deal to make a bold statement of its commitment to effective North-South free trade agreements. The US is the third most important destination for Kenyan exports after Uganda and Pakistan, accounting for 8%...

18 August 2020

'Kenya-US FTA talks 1st round likely to conclude by Aug 14'

Kenya and the United States recently resumed trade pact talks after it was stalled for several weeks. The talks formally kicked off on July 8 but were stalled due to COVID-19 concerns among the team. The first round of the talks is expected to be concluded by August 14. It may take up to two years for a full free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States, said a top Kenyan official.Industrialisation, trade and enterprise development cabinet secretary Betty Maina said Kenya is keen to tap at least 5 per cent of the US market, which has...

10 August 2020

'Key areas of focus in building beneficial trade deal between Kenya, US'

Kenya and the United States of America (USA) formally launched negotiations on July 8 this year to seal a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). This will be first of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa. This follows the U.S.-Kenya Trade and Investment Working Group established by President Trump and President Kenyatta in August 2018, which was tasked with laying the groundwork for a stronger bilateral trade relationship. It is expected that this deal will form a model for other African countries upon the expiry of the African Growth and Opportunities...

06 August 2020 | Carole Karuga

Kenya-US trade talks resume after hitch

Trade pact talks between Kenya and the US have resumed after stalling for several weeks, with the first round expected to be concluded in two weeks' time. Industrialisation, Trade and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina yesterday said negotiators stopped two days into the talks, which formally kicked off on July 8, as Covid-19 concerns arose among the team. “We were worried about Covid-19 among the negotiating team but we have now resumed,” CS Maina said. The first round of the talks is expected to be concluded by...

06 August 2020 | Martin Mwita