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AGOA is unilateral gesture to African countries – Rwanda

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The Rwanda government has responded to the decision of the United States government to suspend the country’s eligibility to the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) for apparel exports. In a statement from the country’s Ministry of Trade and Industry copied to ghanabusinessnews.com, it says AGOA is a commendable unilateral gesture to African countries, including Rwanda, meant to promote trade and development through exports.

The statement pointed out that the notification by the United States on suspension of duty-free status for Rwandan apparel products under the AGOA 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.

“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,” it added.

Last year, five East African countries, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi announced they will phase out imports of secondhand clothing and shoes from western countries by 2019.

The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is a United States Trade Act, enacted on May 18, 2000 as Public Law 106 of the 200th Congress. AGOA has since been renewed to 2025.

The legislation is reportedly said to significantly enhance market access to the US for qualifying Sub-Saharan African countries.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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