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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

'Kenyan SMEs to win big if proposed FTA with the US is adopted' – AMCHAM

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) will be some of the biggest beneficiaries of the Free Trade Agreement that is currently being negotiated between the governments of Kenya and United States. American Chamber of Commerce in Kenya (AMCHAM) CEO Maxwell Okello says SMEs will benefit from increased trade opportunities for both export and import. According to the CEO, SMEs will have the opportunity to become distributors of American products, which are renown for high quality and innovativeness. They will also benefit from Foreign Direct...

03 August 2020

The US and Kenya launch negotiations on a free trade agreement. Will they succeed?

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration and Kenyan government launched trade negotiations in early July. Depending on the outcome of the negotiations, which were held virtually, the trade agreement could be the most significant development in U.S-Africa trade relations since the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) passed Congress in 2000. Indeed, according to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, the U.S.-Kenya agreement will become a model for future trade agreements with other...

30 July 2020 | Witney Schneidman and Brionne Dawson

'US-Africa trade will be positively impacted by AfCFTA' - CCA

The Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) is the leading business association focused solely on promoting business and investment between the United States and the African continent. In this time of pandemic, both the continent and the US are looking for ways to strengthen their relationship.  The CCA works with governments, multilateral groups and businesses to improve Africa’s trade and investment climate, and to raise its profile for the US business community. President and CEO Florizelle Liser speaks to The Africa...

30 July 2020

Will the US presidential elections impact South Africa’s economic recovery?

With over 6.29million recorded cases worldwide and over 380,00 deaths, its safe to say the COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the globe as we know it. Although Africa has, for the most part, managed to avoid an exponential spread of the disease, the overall recovery of the country and more specifically South Africa, hangs in the balance due to a number of factors.  Long delays with vital decisions The country has experienced over 35,000 confirmed cases and the number of deaths sit at just under 800 at the time this...

27 July 2020 | David Koech

Mali qualifies for AGOA benefits, USTR notifies

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) recently notified that imports of eligible products from Mali qualify for the textile and apparel benefits under the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) beginning August 4 as Mali has adopted an effective visa system and related procedures to prevent the unlawful trans-shipment of textile and apparel articles.Mali has also taken steps to prevent the use of counterfeit documents in connection with the shipment of such articles, and has implemented and follows, or is making...

25 July 2020