Tag Archives: AGOA
AGOA: Latest News
Staff, 1:01 am
The U.S. did not have a trade policy for Africa when Rosa Whitaker went to work for the U.S. State Department. U.S. policy was to view Africa as a charity case. Whitaker helped draft AGOA, the law gives duty-free access to the U.S. for African countries meeting eligibility requirements on human rights, rule of law and labor standards. With AGOA, the whole narrative changed, Whitaker said. “We no longer saw Africa as benefactors of charity. We were able to substitute paternalism with partnership.” The U.S. had trade representatives for every other region of the world except Africa. President Bill Clinton did not wait for AGOA to be passed before appointing Whitaker assistant trade representative for Africa.
Dana Sanchez, 4:10 pm
For many Western companies, Africa is a fresh start — an opportunity to build facilities and processes that are environmentally friendly and safe. And don’t forget the tax breaks. Manufacturing in Africa is expensive, training and the quality control are expensive. Most apparel will continue to be made in Asian countries where labor is still relatively cheap and infrastructure, in place. But in China, the world’s apparel manufacturing leader, wages have increased 80% since 2010.
Opinion: Trump’s ‘America First’ Policy An Opportunity For China To Access AGOA, US Markets By Manufacturing In AfricaBy Dana Sanchez, 9:52 am
The main target of Trump’s America First policy is China, the world’s top industrial exporter. China has positioned itself as the world’s factory. Africa does very little trade with the U.S. and is no threat to U.S. jobs. Because China is Africa’s biggest export market, the America First policy will hurt Africa. The export-oriented China creates wealth by exporting manufactured goods to the U.S. and other Western markets. China can circumvent Trump’s efforts by relocating some of its manufacturing to Africa to take advantage of AGOA and access the U.S. market through Africa.
Dana Sanchez, 1:43 pm AFKI Original
Barack Obama’s 2008 election as U.S. president inspired millions of Africans with hopes that strong ties to Kenya, country of his father’s birth, would mean increased U.S. involvement. Some believe Obama will leave office Jan. 20, 2017, falling short of those expectations. He has been blamed for not making African issues a top priority of his foreign policy. Others say he leaves a lasting legacy that will live on — especially in Africa’s young leaders.
Staff, 3:53 pm
Recently renewed by U.S. President Barack Obama, the African Growth and Opportunity Act, or AGOA, allows qualifying African countries to export certain products to the U.S. duty free. U.S. exports to Africa, however, are subject to customs duties. Incoming President Donald Trump isn’t going to go for that, says Herman Cohen, a former U.S. ambassador to several African countries. “I have the feeling that he will ask African governments to accept reciprocity in trade relations,” Cohen said.
Staff, 1:38 pm
A four-page list of Africa-related questions from Trump’s transition team to the State Department suggests a U.S. pullback from development and humanitarian goals but not necessarily from trade. How does U.S. business compete with others in Africa? Are we losing out to China? How much U.S. funding is stolen due to corruption? Why should we spend these funds on Africa when people are suffering in the U.S.? Americans believe the U.S. spends 25% of its budget on foreign aid. In reality it’s closer to 1%.
Kurt Davis Jr., 11:34 am AFKI Original
Businessman Trump knows better than anyone that you must have the right friends to survive. Tunisia could be the surprise special relationship. A successful democracy there would boost the fight against terror. Nigeria could go either way with Trump. He wants to help oil in the U.S. This could hurt Nigeria. Political and financial engagement with Egypt, South Sudan, and South Africa will see some rebalancing. Trade that benefits the U.S. is low-hanging fruit for Trump, but how does he view AGOA? He promised to re-evaluate all trade agreements.
Dana Sanchez, 3:50 pm
An Israeli garment firm manufacturing in Ethiopia just made its first shipment to the U.S. for Sweden’s H&M. Ethiopia has all the key elements for manufacturing — cheap labor, government support, and access to the U.S. through AGOA, the Israeli CEO said. Ethiopian garment workers start at about $21 a month compared to Bangladesh’s minimum wage of $68 per month and China’s average monthly wage of $500 in the textile sector.
Dana Sanchez, 3:59 pm
When it comes to predicting how President Donald Trump will affect U.S-Africa trade relations, opinions are divided. The election will result in few changes for Africa, a Liberian activist said. Obama has demonstrated that “regardless of a person’s race, gender, or socioeconomic position, U.S. presidents always protect U.S. interests.” Others say it will be bad news for Africa. Trump’s opposition to multilateral trade deals – which he says are unfair to the U.S. – could endanger the African Growth and Opportunity Act introduced in the Clinton era.
Kevin Mwanza, 6:26 am
The textiles and garments industry in Lesotho, exported at least $330 million worth of products to the U.S. last year, making it the country’s largest private-sector employer as the nation reaps big from the African and Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The tiny Southern African nation is one of the African nations benefiting from the trade pact signed in 2000, allowing at least 6,000 products from 38 sub-Saharan African to enter the U.S. market duty free.
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