TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

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

Tuesday, 03 April 2018

Source: The New Times (Rwanda)

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 promote the local textile industry. 

“The notification by the United States on suspension of duty-free status for Rwandan apparel products under the African Growth and Opportunity Act follows a decision by East African countries to raise tariffs on second-hand clothing imports, in order to promote local manufacturing capacity in garment and other industries,” the statement released by the Ministry of Trade and Industry said.

It added: “AGOA is a commendable unilateral gesture to African countries, including Rwanda, meant to promote trade and development through exports. The withdrawal of AGOA benefits is at the discretion of the United States.”

In 2006, the Heads of State of Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda agreed to take measures to gradually phase out second-hand clothing.

AGOA was originally set to expire in 2015 but it has since been renewed to 2025.

 

View related news articles

Rwanda eyes stronger ties with Biden Administration

Rwanda eyes stronger ties with Biden Administration

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Vincent Biruta, has said that Rwanda is ready to strengthen ties with the administration of the new President of the United States, Joe Biden. Biden was sworn-in on January 20, becoming the 46th President of the US. "We are ready to continue working with the new administration in strengthening existing...

25 January, 2021
'Here's why the used clothing trade deserves more attention'

'Here's why the used clothing trade deserves more attention'

While friction over the ban of used clothing exports from the US to East Africa seems to have come to an end, some fundamental issues still remain, according to Shannon Brady and Sheng Lu from the University of Delaware. Their latest research throws up complex economic, social, legal and political factors linked with the trade in second-hand clothes and questions the...

11 December, 2018
East Africa debate: Suspension of Rwanda’s AGOA benefits – What does it mean? [Video]

East Africa debate: Suspension of Rwanda’s AGOA benefits – What does it mean? [Video]

Barely weeks after the Trump administration partially suspended Rwanda’s benefits to export apparel duty-free to the US under the African Growth and Opportunity Act - AGOA, the government of Rwanda says that it remains committed to supporting any Rwandan trader who still wishes to access the US market. The government also says that it expects minimal effects from the...

22 August, 2018
'Rwanda AGOA limitations signals era of reciprocal trading'

'Rwanda AGOA limitations signals era of reciprocal trading'

Last week, the Trump administration announced the withdrawal of benefits for Rwanda to export apparel duty-free to the US under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa). This is largely seen as a response to Kigali’s decision to ban second-hand clothes in its market. However, there is a larger trend at play here. We are in an era of trade wars and serious global...

05 August, 2018
Presidential Proclamation regarding Rwanda's AGOA eligibility

Presidential Proclamation regarding Rwanda's AGOA eligibility

  Presidential Proclamation to Take Certain Actions Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act and For Other Purposes  Issued on: July 30, 2018 1.  In Proclamation 7350 of October 2, 2000, the President designated the Republic of Rwanda (“Rwanda”) as a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country for purposes of section 506A(a)(1) of...

31 July, 2018
Trump upholds AGOA trade preference eligibility criteria with Rwanda

Trump upholds AGOA trade preference eligibility criteria with Rwanda

Today, President Donald J. Trump issued a proclamation regarding Rwanda that enforces the eligibility criteria established by Congress for trade preferences under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).  This proclamation suspends the application of duty-free treatment for all apparel products from Rwanda.   “We regret this outcome and hope it is...

31 July, 2018
Rwanda: Government to pay taxes for affected AGOA exporters

Rwanda: Government to pay taxes for affected AGOA exporters

To ensure Rwandan exporters are not significantly affected by the anticipated suspension of duty-free access to the US market under the AGOA framework, government has decided to take over the resultant tax obligations. This follows the move by the American government on March 31st announcing their intention to suspend the application of duty-free treatment to all African...

11 June, 2018
'How the United States and Rwanda have fallen out over second-hand clothes' - BBC

'How the United States and Rwanda have fallen out over second-hand clothes' - BBC

US President Donald Trump's "America First" stance on global trade has hit Rwanda, by imposing tariffs on clothing exports from the tiny East African nation. The issue revolves around an obscure import, second-hand clothes, and Rwanda's refusal to back down from the fight.  When did the dispute start? In March 2018, the US gave Rwanda 60 days' notice that it would be...

28 May, 2018
Trump versus Rwanda in trade battle over used clothes

Trump versus Rwanda in trade battle over used clothes

Early last year, weeks after Donald Trump was sworn in as president, a little known American trade association  filed a petition with the U.S. Trade Representative. That seven-page letter set Africa in the cross-hairs of the new administration’s ‘America First’ trade ideology, pitting the world’s largest economy against tiny Rwanda over an unlikely U.S. export:...

24 May, 2018
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...

17 April, 2018
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...

17 April, 2018