TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Swaziland: More jobs to be created with renewal of AGOA provision

Wednesday, 30 May 2012 Published: | Swaziland Observer

Source: Swaziland Observer

With the renewal of the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) provision of sourcing fabric beyond September 2012, the apparel sector in Swaziland and other African countries will expand its operations and more jobs expected to be created.

Minister of Commerce, Industry, and Trade Jabulile Mashwama said next month, African ministers of trade of the AGOA beneficiary countries would be meet with the United States government for the annual AGOA forum.

She said the forum would be happening at a time when the provision that allowed AGOA beneficiary countries to source fabric from other regions would expire in September 2012. “We are glad that the US government has committed itself to renew this provision beyond September to avert any market disruptions for the exports of our textile and apparel to America. “The success story of this provision cannot be overemphasised as it allows our textile, clothing and apparel sector to expand their operations and employ large women, who are the backbone of our socio-economic development in most African countries,” she said. The minister was speaking during the World Trade Organisation (WTO) 4th Regional Trade Policy Course (RTPC) for English-speaking African countries in partnership with the University of Swaziland (UNISWA) at the Kwaluseni campus yesterday.

She said whilst developments in the regional trade were widely viewed as building blocks towards the wider multilateral trading system, they should not distract African countries from the commitment made to conclude the current Doha Development Round at the WTO.

Mashwama said member states of the WTO would be preoccupied with essential domestic political developments, find the resolve and renewed energy to seriously engage in negotiations in the next few months ahead.

She said for the African continent, the conclusion of the current round of negotiations, with meaningful and pragmatic development content and outcome, provided the optimal option for Africa to fully integrate in the world economy.

Mashwama said Africa’s relationship with Europe was not only confined to trade, it also extended to cooperation in different areas of socio-economic development, which may be adversely affected by the situation there. “It is our appeal, therefore, that the European Union will not abandon Africa, especially when we are beginning to find our feet and have become the continent with relatively best returns in terms of investments. When we met with the other group last year, there was much talk about the establishment of a Tripartite Free Trade Area, which would encompass the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Countries (EAC) and the South African Development Community (SADC),” she said.

She said negotiations were already underway and progressing well at the technical level.

 

View related news articles

Swaziland: Is 2018 the year for its textile workers?

Swaziland: Is 2018 the year for its textile workers?

Can the year 2018 be a turning point for textile workers’ prolonged poverty? The workers in the textile industry said as they got into the new year and edged closer to this year’s negotiations which are scheduled to start next Wednesday, they would be demanding that government should adhere to TUCOSWA’s call for a basic minimum wage, which would see them as part of...

25 January, 2018
Swaziland:

Swaziland: "We should learn from AGOA loss"

Two years ago, I wrote on this very column how disappointing government was in the handling of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) issue.  I remember vividly describing it as a catastrophe so dreadful to be likened to Tsunami proportions. Last week, United States (US) President Donald Trump gave a green light to the restoration of the country’s eligibility...

31 December, 2017
US restores trade benefits to Gambia, Swaziland

US restores trade benefits to Gambia, Swaziland

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday restored trade benefits to Gambia and Swaziland under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office said. [See text of Proclamation here] The AGOA trade program provides sub-Saharan countries duty-free access to the United States on condition they meet certain statutory eligibility...

23 December, 2017
Presidential Proclamation to take certain actions under the AGOA and for other purposes

Presidential Proclamation to take certain actions under the AGOA and for other purposes

In Proclamation 9223 of December 23, 2014, President Obama determined that the Republic of The Gambia (“The Gambia”) was not making continual progress in meeting the requirements described in section 506A(a)(1) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (the “Trade Act”) (19 U.S.C. 2466a(a)), as added by section 111(a) of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (the...

23 December, 2017
Eligibility reviews: Press statement in support of Swaziland’s eligibility status for AGOA

Eligibility reviews: Press statement in support of Swaziland’s eligibility status for AGOA

The Amalgamated Trade Union of Swaziland (ATUSWA) representing 9 000 workers in the textile and apparel industry, the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) representing 40 000 workers and 16 affiliated unions, and the IndustriALL Global Union representing 50 million workers in 140 countries met in Manzini, Swaziland on the 29th of August 2017 to discuss the status of...

04 September, 2017
Swazi king signs public order, terrorism amendment bills

Swazi king signs public order, terrorism amendment bills

His Majesty King Mswati III has given assent to the Public Order Bill and the Suppression of Terrorism amendment Act. The King endorsed the two Acts last week Tuesday. This comes as good news as this means that Swaziland is a step closer to regaining its African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) status. Swaziland was removed from AGOA in January 2015.  

15 August, 2017
US urges Swaziland to review terrorism law as precondition for AGOA readmission

US urges Swaziland to review terrorism law as precondition for AGOA readmission

The United States has asked Swaziland to redefine ‘Terrorism Act’ before it could be reconsidered for the African Growth Opportunity Agreement (AGOA). This was stated by Prime Minister Banarbas Dlamini when giving feedback to Senate Portfolio Committee in Parliament during the debate of the Suppression of Terrorism Amendment Bill No. 10 of 2010 on Wednesday. The...

05 July, 2017
Swaziland: 'One month to AGOA review cycle'

Swaziland: 'One month to AGOA review cycle'

Swaziland has one month to work on the remaining AGOA benchmarks as this year’s AGOA review cycle will begin in June until September. AGOA is the African Growth and Opportunity Act, a United States Trade Act enacted on May 18, 2000 as Public Law 106 of the 200th Congress.  The legislation significantly enhances market access to the US for qualifying Sub-Saharan...

01 May, 2016
Swaziland to fulfill ILO benchmarks in June – sources

Swaziland to fulfill ILO benchmarks in June – sources

Swaziland may regain its African Growth and Opportunity (AGOA) status as it promises to meet all five benchmarks set by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) by June, APA reports on Tuesday. As of now Swaziland met three and the remaining two are the amendment of the Suppression of Terrorism Act and the amendment of the Public Order Act which should allow for the full...

12 February, 2016
New US Ambassador: I will help Swaziland regain AGOA

New US Ambassador: I will help Swaziland regain AGOA

Incoming Unites States of America Ambassador to Swaziland Lisa Peterson carries hope for the country’s re-admission to the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) – a duty-free trade agreement that enhances market access to the US for qualifying Sub-Saharan African countries. Swaziland lost its AGOA status on January 1, 2015 after US President Barack Obama withdrew...

17 January, 2016
Swaziland: 'US chicken dumping to threaten local producers'

Swaziland: 'US chicken dumping to threaten local producers'

The Swaziland poultry industry will soon face a challenge to compete with United States (US) unfairly low chicken prices after South Africa allowed American poultry in their market. Minister of Agriculture Moses Vilakati said this would be a huge challenge to Swazi producers, adding that it was beyond any doubt that US chickens would soon hit the shelves of local retailers,...

15 January, 2016