US boots Burundi from Africa trade pact AGOA

Published date:
Saturday, 31 October 2015
Author:
AFP

US president Barack Obama announced Friday that Burundi will be ejected from a pact offering African nations much-desired US market access, after the country’s president grabbed a third term in office.

In a notification to Congress, Obama said he had taken the step in response to a “continuing crackdown on opposition members, which has included assassinations, extra-judicial killings, arbitrary arrests, and torture.”

The measure will take effect in January.

Burundi has been convulsed by violence since President Pierre Nkurunziza’s controversially, secured a third term in office earlier this year.

Opponents said his re-election breached the terms of a peace deal that paved the way to ending a 13-year civil war in 2006.

Some 200 people have been killed since violence first broke out in April.

The UN has warned that Burundi risks sliding back into civil war after a dramatic rise in killings, arrests and detentions, with over 200,000 refugees fleeing to neighboring countries.

AGOA—the African Growth and Opportunity Act—was created more than a decade ago to help boost exports from the poorest African nations.

While Burundi’s exports to the US a minimal, valued at just several million dollars, any disruption would be significant for an economy already forecast by the IMF to contract by 7.2% this year.

The European Union, a major trading partner and aid donor to the country, has threatened sanctions over rights violations.

Share this article

View related news articles

EAC States challenged on trade agreements

The East African Community (EAC) partner states have been challenged to increase their volume of transactions under regional and international trade agreements. The region’s private sector trade block, East Africa Business Council, said it is imperative for the region to take advantage of opportunities such as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), Economic partnership agreement, to...

23 August 2022

Kenya, Ethiopia ahead of region in benefits of AGOA treaty

Kenya led the East African Community members in its use of the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (Agoa) treaty, scoring 98 per cent. However, it came second to Ghana which recorded 99.1 per cent with Madagascar coming third at 93.7 per cent. According to data contained in the US Trade and Investment with sub-Saharan Africa: Recent Trends and New Developments report, Ethiopia at 81.9 per cent and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)...

26 May 2020

Report calls for joint marketing of EAC as investment destination and eradication of NTBs

A report of the recently concluded high level conference on trade integration notes that there is a downward trend on the profile of the East African Community (EAC) as an attractive investment destination. The report calls for the EAC Partner States to market EAC jointly, further consolidate free trade by eliminating individual State exemption lists, liberalize and allow free movement of trade and services, eradicate non-tariff barriers...

28 September 2019

East Africa exports to the US hit $1bn in the year to September 2018

Exports from East African countries to the US reached about $1 billion between October 2017 and September 2018, a 17 per cent increase from the same period the previous year. The United States Agency for International Development’s East Africa Trade and Investment Hub said apparel dominated the region’s sales at 84.4 per cent of exports. The Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) gives sub-Saharan Africa duty-free access to US markets...

31 December 2018

'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 effectiveness of preference programmes such as AGOA as a tool for economic...

11 December 2018

Hello, America! USAID, direct flights to increase AGOA exports to US

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) Hub will from November 2018 to March 2019 provide direct support in the audit and Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) certification process. Already, USAID is helping companies in the East African region become more export competitive. WRAP is a minimum standard for social compliance where US textile and apparel buyers procure products from ethical and socially compliant...

19 October 2018

'US threats force EAC to back down on secondhand clothes ban' - Article

East African countries have backed down on their initial stand on banning the importation secondhand clothing. Instead they will use of tax measures and incentives to spur local manufacturing. During the EAC Heads of State retreat on infrastructure and health financing in Kampala, the EAC presidents resolved to prioritise the development of a competitive domestic textile and leather sector to provide affordable clothes and leather products...

24 February 2018

EAC heads of state to meet over health, infrastructure and AGOA

East African Community Heads of State are expected to convene in Uganda’s capital Kampala next week to discuss a number of regional matters, including infrastructure and health sector growth. Olivier Nduhungirehe, the State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and East African Community, confirmed to The New Times on the agenda includes a two-day Joint EAC Heads of State Retreat on Infrastructure and Health...

19 February 2018

East African textile sector tipped on maximising technology

Textile industry players in the region have been challenged to start making garments that require low level technology and skills as the East African Community (EAC) countries prepare to phase-out imported used clothes. Lilian Awinja, the Executive Director of the East African Business Council (EABC), said the sector can manufacture apparels such as inner garments, ties, scarfs that require low level technology and skills. “It is a high...

20 October 2017

Used-clothing trade causes contention between US and East African Nations

The commercial enterprise of U.S. companies selling used clothing to African countries doesn’t seem a likely source of controversy, but the issue has become one of contention on two continents. The East African countries of Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan and Burundi have been trying to phase out imports of secondhand clothing and shoes over the last year.  The countries claim the enterprise undermines their efforts to...

13 October 2017

Trade experts fault US over AGOA review

The US government has been faulted by trade and economic experts for the out-of-cycle review of the American Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) which could see Rwanda and East African countries barred from duty-free access to the US market. The review which began on July 13, is a response to a move by Rwanda and fellow East African Community countries to phase out and eventually ban importation of second hand clothes. This is aimed to...

24 July 2017