- Jan 20, 2016
Taasisi ya U.S Trade Representative (USTR) imesema kuwa inapitia upya faida za kibiashara kwa nchi za Rwanda, Tanzania na Uganda chini ya Sheria ya Ukuaji na Fursa kwa Afrika (African Growth and Opportunity Act(AGOA)) baada ya Malalamiko kutoka kwa wadau wa Marekani kuhusu zuio la mitumba kwa nchi za Afrika Mashariki.
USTR imesema inalazimika kupitia faida hizo baada ya lalamiko(petition) lililopelekwa na Ushirika wa wafanyabiashara wa mitumba kuwa zuio hilo linaweka ugumu mkubwa kwa sekta yao na inakiuka masharti ya AGOA.
Kwa kupitia huko, USTR itaangalia kama lalamiko hilo lina mashiko na pia kuangalia kama Rwanda, Tanzania na Uganda zinafuata masharti ya AGOA.
Hatua hiyo inafuatia uamuzi wa Jumuiya ya Afrika Mashariki (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda na Burundi na Sudan Kusini) wa kuzuia kabisa uingizwaji wa mitumba ifikapo 2019 wakidai kuwa itasaidia nchi wanachama kuinua uzalishaji wa nguo.
USTR haikueleza kwanini nchi hizo 3 zilichaguliwa kwa zoezi hilo.
The U.S. Trade Representative said on Tuesday it was reviewing trade benefits to Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) after a complaint by U.S. interests about an East African ban on imports of used clothing.
USTR said the "out-of-cycle" review was in response to a petition filed by the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART), which complained that the ban "imposed significant hardship" on the U.S. used-clothing industry and violated AGOA rules.
"Through the out-of-cycle review, USTR and trade-related agencies will assess the allegations contained within the SMART petition and review whether Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda are adhering to AGOA's eligibility requirements," USTR said in a statement.
The move follows a decision by the six-nation East African Community - Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and South Sudan - to fully ban imported second-hand clothes and shoes by 2019, arguing it would help member countries boost domestic clothes manufacturing.
The USTR did not elaborate on why the three countries were singled out for review.
The AGOA trade program provides eligible sub-Saharan countries duty-free access to the United States on condition they meet certain statutory eligibility requirements, including eliminating barriers to U.S. trade and investment, among others.
U.S. AGOA imports from Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda totaled $43 million in 2016, up from $33 million in 2015, according to the USTR. U.S. exports to Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda were $281 million in 2016, up from $257 million the year before, it said.
(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Cynthia Osterman)