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US meeting to decide fate of textile workers

Published date:
Thursday, 10 May 2012

The fate of 40,000 factory workers facing possible lay off at Export Processing Zone will be determined at a meeting in the US next month.

US ambassador Scott Gration said a meeting has been called in Washington DC in June to discuss renewal of certain provisions in the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (Agoa) that offer privileges to countries like Kenya to export certain products to US market.

On Tuesday, Kenya Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZ) expressed fear that the delay in renewal of the third country fabric, a provision in the Agoa Act ending in September might lead to layoff of several workers in the apparel industry.

Top in the agenda of the 11th Agoa forum called in Washington DC would also include discussion on the continent’s infrastructure, regional economic integration, and trade opportunities.

“I take opportunity at this point of time to allay fears of job losses at the EPZ. We are committed to empowering women majority working in the industry,” said the ambassador.

Hurt country

“We have lined up a series of meetings on Agoa, Kenya’s trade minister has been invited in one of them in June and I hope the renewal issue of the provision would be discussed,” he said.

He said his country was keen on various developments in the country and would not implement any agenda that would hurt the country and its development programmes.

He, however, warned Kenya to prepare for any decision his country might take on the matter.

“We crafted Agoa Act to empower countries such as Kenya, various provisions in the act are subjected to reviews,” he said.

The ambassador praised Kenya for seizing opportunities in the Agoa since it was crafted. He hailed steps such as the creation of a national committee on Agoa and a union giving way to enterprises for the realisation of various benefits.

Kenya is ranked ninth among African countries, which have mostly benefitted from AGOA. It has earned $300 Million worth of products export under the Act.

“ Latest AGOA Trade Data currently available on

Click here to view a sector profile of Kenya's bilateral trade with the United States, disaggregated by total exports and imports, AGOA exports and GSP exports.

Other regularly updated trade statistics on include: (click each link to view)

  • AGOA-Beneficiary Countries’ AGOA and GSP Trade Aggregates

  • AGOA Trade by Industry Sector

  • Apparel Trade under AGOA’s Wearing Apparel Provisions

  • Latest Apparel Quotas under AGOA

  • Bilateral Trade Data for all AGOA-eligible countries individually.

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