US-Zambia agricultural trade drops in 2014

US-Zambia agricultural trade drops in 2014
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Bilateral trade in agricultural products between Zambia and the United States dropped significantly in 2014, the Times of Zambia reported on Friday.

Agricultural trade between the two countries dropped to 504,000 U.S. dollars from 732,000 dollars representing a 32 percent reduction, the paper said, quoting a report released by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The statement said the two countries had failed to utilize the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) which was a platform to encourage trade between Africa and the U.S..

According to the statement, Zambia imported agriculture products worth 260,000 dollars in 2014 compared to 343,000 dollars in 2013 while exports dropped to 244,000 dollars from 389,000 dollars during the same period.

However, Zambia’s mineral and metal exports to the U.S. increased to 30,393,000 dollars in 2014 from 17,393,000 dollars in 2013 while imports reduced from 3,125,000 dollars to 1,229,000 dollars respectively.

On the other hand, imports of machinery from U.S. increased to 21,396,000 dollars from 14,206,00 dollars with exports worth 3,000 dollars in 2013 and 11,000 dollars in 2014 respectively.

However, for textiles and apparel which had been the main emphasis in the AGOA trade framework, the imports increased from 447,000 dollars to 822,000 dollars while exports increased from 4, 000 dollars in the same period.

The statement added that there was need to increase bilateral trade between the two countries looking at the long standing bilateral relationship in the last 50 years.

AGOA was initially signed by former U.S. President Bill Clinton in 2000 and provides duty free access for about 6,000 products from some 40 eligible sub-Saharan African nations into the U.S. market. It has been extended up to 2015.

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