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Friday, January 28, 2022

Three African Countries Excluded From Trade Pact

Last Saturday, the United States announced to removing Ethiopia, Mali and Guinea countries from the US-Africa trade pact.

The expenses of these three countries were motivated by cases of human rights violations and the change of power through a military coup.

In the trade pact, the US and African countries are bound by a rule called the African Growth and Opportunity Act.

AGOA is a trade rule that is very beneficial to both parties where African countries that follow this agreement will have the privilege of exporting their commodities to the US without customs.

Vice versa, the US is also exempt from customs duties when exporting their commodities to AGOA member countries.

However, the US stipulates additional requirements, namely the fulfillment of requirements related to human rights, good governance, and worker protection.

The agreement, which was ratified by President Bill Clinton in 2000, has the objective of promoting economic growth and building free market-oriented regional integration as well as increasing trade and investment flows. However, the agreement can be canceled if one of the parties violates the agreed terms.

Cases of human rights violations in the form of killings of civilians and mass involuntary violence due to the deadly and prolonged conflict in northern Ethiopia are suspected to be the reason the US removed this country from the trade pact.

The change of power through military coups in Mali and Guinea is also the reason the US expelled these two countries.

The termination of the AGOA agreement greatly affected the export trade of the three countries. The crisis due to the corona pandemic, internal conflicts, and high inflation have made the economies of these countries weaken.

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