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US-Ghana trade deepens as 2019 local AGOA Expo ends

The Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) has ended its Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) trade Expo with a high-powered business to business meeting which saw over 50 African American businesses strike business deals with Ghanaian businesses partaking of the event.  President of the Chamber, Dr Nana Appiagyei Dankawoso 1 was confident “the engagement will expand business opportunities in Ghana in 2020”. “This B2B session has been a high-powered one. With the calibre of American businesses come on board we are...

11 December 2019 | Charles Ayitey

Federal Register - South Africa GSP Review dates

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is announcing a hearing for the GSP country practice reviews of Azerbaijan, Ecuador, Georgia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Thailand, South Africa, and Uzbekistan, and the country designation review of Laos. These reviews will focus on whether: (1) Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan are meeting the GSP eligibility criterion requiring that a GSP beneficiary country afford workers in that country internationally recognized worker rights; (2) Ecuador is meeting the GSP...

19 November 2019

Mali obtains third-country-fabric eligibility under AGOA's apparel provisions

The US has designated West African country Mali as a lesser-developed beneficiary country under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The decision was included in a presidential proclamation outlining a number of changes to the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) following regular eligibility reviews, product reviews, and beneficiary developing country assessments. As a result, 30 days after the proclamation is published in the Federal Register, Mali will become eligible for AGOA's third-country fabric provision, which...

05 November 2019

The United States and Kenya hold second meeting of the Trade and Investment Working Group

The United States and Kenya held the second meeting of the U.S.-Kenya Trade and Investment Working Group from October 31 to November 4, 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya. The Working Group, established by President Donald J. Trump and President Uhuru Kenyatta, is exploring ways to deepen the trade and investment ties between the two countries and lay the groundwork for a stronger future trade relationship. The Working Group’s discussions covered a range of trade and investment topics, including services, digital trade, intellectual property,...

04 November 2019 | USTR

Trump ends trade benefits for Cameroon over ‘persistent human rights violations’

President Trump said he will soon ax Cameroon from a trade program that allows African countries to sell goods to the United States on a duty-free basis, citing “persistent human rights violations” in a letter to Congress on Thursday. The decision comes as U.S. officials accuse the Central African nation of extrajudicial killings and unlawful detentions amid conflicts that have displaced more than a half-million people over the past two years.  “Despite intensive engagement between the United States and the Government...

02 November 2019 | Danielle Paquette

Trump scraps trade benefits for Cameroon over rights abuses

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said he would end Cameroon’s preferential trade benefits from Jan. 1, citing what he called the African country’s “persistent gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.” In a letter to the U.S. Congress, Trump said Cameroon had failed to address U.S. concerns regarding extrajudicial killings, torture and other persistent human rights violations being committed by Cameroonian security forces. “I am taking this step because I have determined that the Government of Cameroon...

01 November 2019

AGOA eligibility of Cameroon - message to Congress by the White House

TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES In accordance with section 506A(a)(3)(B) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2466a(a)(3)(B)), I am providing notice of my intent to terminate the designation of the Republic of Cameroon (Cameroon) as a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). I am taking this step because I have determined that the Government of Cameroon currently engages in gross violations of internationally recognized human rights, contravening the eligibility...

31 October 2019 | The White House

SA business organisation asks president to delay enactment of two Bills to ensure continued US trade benefits

Business organisation Sakeliga has requested President Cyril Ramaphosa to delay the enactment of two Bills of Parliament, which it says could potentially jeopardise 40% of South Africa’s exports to the US. The relevant Bills are the Copyright Amendment Bill (B13B-2017) and the Performer’s Protection Bill (B24B-2016). Sakeliga’s open letter on Monday follows an announcement made last week by the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) of a review of South Africa’s eligibility for tariff exemptions under the Generalized...

28 October 2019 | SIMONE LIEDTKE

R35 billion in South African exports to the USA are at stake in a 'review' just triggered by SA's copyright reform efforts

South African exports to the United States worth some R35 billion last year will be at stake when the Office of the United States Trade Representative launches a review of SA's eligibility for duty-free imports under the US system known as the Generalized System of Preferences, or GSP. The US federal government announced plans for the review on Friday. The exports threatened include – but go beyond – exports to America under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Agoa exports are predicated on participating...

27 October 2019