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Local union warns South Africa that AGOA eligibility under threat if land expropriation goes ahead

Local union warns South Africa that AGOA eligibility under threat if land expropriation goes ahead

SA could breach eligibility requirements of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) if the country proceeds with plans to implement land appropriation without compensation, South African trade union Solidarity has warned. In terms of section 104 of the act, the sub-Saharan African countries eligible for AGOA have to commit to protecting private property rights. AGOA, which came into effect in May 2000, provides trade preferences for quotas and duty-free entry to the US for certain goods. Solidarity deputy general secretary for...

07 August 2018 | SISEKO NJOBENI
Expanding free trade with Africa through AGOA

Expanding free trade with Africa through AGOA

Originally passed in 2000 and renewed until 2025, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is a U.S. Trade Act that boosts U.S. market access for qualifying sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. The program’s goal is to boost economic growth, spur development and reduce poverty in Africa. Currently, 40 SSA countries are AGOA-eligible and they remain eligible by working to improve human rights, rule of law and labor standards. The AGOA built on the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) by expanding duty-free...

06 August 2018 | Kathryn Quelle
'Rwanda AGOA limitations signals era of reciprocal trading'

'Rwanda AGOA limitations signals era of reciprocal trading'

Last week, the Trump administration announced the withdrawal of benefits for Rwanda to export apparel duty-free to the US under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa). This is largely seen as a response to Kigali’s decision to ban second-hand clothes in its market. However, there is a larger trend at play here. We are in an era of trade wars and serious global disagreements as to what is deemed fair, or not, in trade practice and agreements. Economic nationalism has found a new lifeline. The nationalism here refers to a situation...

05 August 2018 | ANZETSE WERE
'Trump’s trade action may benefit Africa'

'Trump’s trade action may benefit Africa'

Opinion Piece: The Donald Trump presidency is fast changing almost everything about the US’s role in the world and how the world is managed. No one seems to be spared from its ruthless pursuit of narrow nationalist interests. The recent decision to suspend Rwanda’s right to export duty-free to the US under the African Growth and Opportunities Act (Agoa) is meant to stop Rwanda from increasing tariffs imposed on used clothing and footwear announced more than a year ago [AGOA.info note: Only Rwanda's apparel preferences under AGOA have...

05 August 2018 | SIPHAMANDLA ZONDI
Trade under Africa bloc will create ‘respect’

Trade under Africa bloc will create ‘respect’

The East African Community should channel its resources to the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) as an alternative to pacts with Europe, Asia and the US.  “Africa has a lot of potential in intra-regional trade that is untapped; that is why we are exploited by the West and Asia, who offer trade deals that benefit them more than they do African states,” said Seth Kwizera, the co-ordinator of think tank Economic Policy and Research Network. “When over 40 states signed the CFTA, it was a strong...

05 August 2018 | IVAN R. MUGISHA
Presidential Proclamation regarding Rwanda's AGOA eligibility

Presidential Proclamation regarding Rwanda's AGOA eligibility

  Presidential Proclamation to Take Certain Actions Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act and For Other Purposes  Issued on: July 30, 2018 1.  In Proclamation 7350 of October 2, 2000, the President designated the Republic of Rwanda (“Rwanda”) as a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country for purposes of section 506A(a)(1) of the Trade Act of 1974 (the “1974 Act”) (19 U.S.C. 2466a(a)(1)), as added by section 111(a) of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (the...

31 July 2018
Trump upholds AGOA trade preference eligibility criteria with Rwanda

Trump upholds AGOA trade preference eligibility criteria with Rwanda

Today, President Donald J. Trump issued a proclamation regarding Rwanda that enforces the eligibility criteria established by Congress for trade preferences under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).  This proclamation suspends the application of duty-free treatment for all apparel products from Rwanda.   “We regret this outcome and hope it is temporary,” said Deputy United States Trade Representative C.J. Mahoney. “But if the AGOA eligibility criteria are to have any meaning, they have to be...

31 July 2018
USAID supports Kenya’s AGOA strategy to double duty-free exports by 2023

USAID supports Kenya’s AGOA strategy to double duty-free exports by 2023

Kenya’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives has launched the Kenya National African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Strategy and Action Plan (2018-2023) alongside Kenya’s National Export Development and Promotion Strategy.  The new National AGOA Strategy outlines actions for priority sectors to increase the country’s exports to the U.S. by 10.4 percent annually. In 2017, Kenya exported goods worth $572 million to the United States.  By 2023, the strategy projects that Kenya’s U.S. exports will reach $1,105...

31 July 2018 | George Tubei
'Protectionism limits AGOA at a time when its benefits need to be spread'

'Protectionism limits AGOA at a time when its benefits need to be spread'

Opinion piece: Concerns remain following a recently concluded two-day conclave on July 11-12 in Washington DC, in which delegates deliberated on mutually beneficial trade and investment opportunities under the banner of the 17th African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) forum. The forum, which brought together representatives from the US and eligible African countries to forge new strategies for deepening US-Africa trade and investment, occurred at a time when the international trade order is at a crossroads. There are doubts about the...

31 July 2018 | MICHAEL ADE
Kenya: New national export strategy seeks to grow exports to KSh 1.3t by 2022

Kenya: New national export strategy seeks to grow exports to KSh 1.3t by 2022

The Cabinet Secretary for Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Hon. Peter Munya has lauded the 2nd Kenya Trade Week and Exposition forum at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC). Speaking at the opening ceremony on Monday, the CS lauded the forum for bringing together both private and public sector players to chat ways of bridging Kenya’s imports and exports gap. He emphasised the importance of Buy Kenya, Build Kenya which aims at promoting consumption of Kenya made products besides spurring production and enhancing job...

31 July 2018 | Claire Wanja
South Africa: Minister says South African interest groups plan to challenge US move on auto tariffs

South Africa: Minister says South African interest groups plan to challenge US move on auto tariffs

South Africa is to launch a lawsuit against the US, arguing that proposed US tariffs on South African motor car imports will violate South Africa’s rights under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). SA’s Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said that “interested groups” planned to challenge this latest US move in a growing global trade war.  Davies told journalists at the BRICS Forum in Sandton that the international trade war, launched by US President Donald Trump, was “no longer a phony war. The first shots have...

25 July 2018 | Peter Fabricius
South Africa: 'Not time to be inward-looking'

South Africa: 'Not time to be inward-looking'

Spare a thought for Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, who will have a tough job convincing the US not to impose possible export duties on vehicle and component exports. He has already lost the battle to have SA excluded from US President Donald Trump’s tit-for-tat trade war with China, with duties imposed on steel and aluminium. With vehicles and components, however, the stakes are higher. Of all the sectors Davies’s department has been punting for a revival in local manufacturing, it has been by far the most successful, with...

18 July 2018 | BD Editorial
US duties to knock South Africa's AGOA exports

US duties to knock South Africa's AGOA exports

South Africa has raised its concern with the US government about possible duties on vehicle and vehicle component imports, pointing out that their imposition on South African exports would significantly erode the benefit the country is meant to enjoy under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa). Following its decision to impose import duties on steel (25%) and aluminium (10%), the US decided to investigate whether it should do likewise with regard to vehicles and car components under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act. The act...

16 July 2018 | Linda Ensor
South Africa's Minister Davies: Steel and aluminium exports to US no threat to national security

South Africa's Minister Davies: Steel and aluminium exports to US no threat to national security

South Africa’s steel and aluminium exports to the United States does not pose any threat to US national security, says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies. Davies was speaking during bilateral meetings in Washington DC with US Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, and senators Chris Coons and Johnny Isakson, the trade and industry department (dti) said in a statement on Sunday. Davies said South Africa’s exports of steel to the US accounted for less than one percent of total US...

15 July 2018