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US Removes Uganda From AGOA Trade Deal

The African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) no longer applies to Uganda as a result of the US pulling out of the country at the end of December.

With effect from January 1, the United States also withdrew three further African nations from Agoa: Niger, Gabon, and the Central African Republic.

Under the Dec. 29 decision signed by US President Joe Biden, Kampala would no longer be able to export specific goods to the US duty-free.

The Ugandan economy, which has greatly profited from the program since its inception in 2000, might be severely impacted.


“Gross violations of human rights”

The decision was taken in response to Uganda’s contentious Anti-Homosexuality Act, which was approved last year and carries a life sentence or potentially the death penalty for same-sex behavior.

Biden claimed in October that “gross violations of internationally recognized human rights” were the reason Uganda was kicked out of Agoa.

“Despite intensive engagement between the United States and the Central African Republic, Gabon, Niger, and Uganda, these countries have failed to address United States concerns about their non-compliance with the Agoa eligibility criteria,” Biden said in a letter to the speaker of the US House of Representatives.

Economic impact

With Agoa, qualified sub-Saharan African nations can import more than 1,800 products into the US duty-free.

Although the US has expressed aspirations to renew it, it is scheduled to expire in December 2025.

Under the agreement, Uganda has mostly exported textiles and agricultural products to the US duty-free.

Approximately 72% of the workforce is employed in the agriculture sector, which accounted for over 80% of the nation’s exports to the US.

Its removal from Agoa may now result in the loss of thousands of jobs and a slowdown in economic expansion.

In the 12 months to June 2023, Uganda’s exports to the US under Agoa amounted to $8.2 million, about 11.5 percent of its total exports to the US in the same period, totalling $70.7 million.

Written by PH

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