ANNOUNCEMENT 29 Mar 2018
Rwanda’s apparel trade preference benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act have been suspended for failing to make sufficient progress toward the elimination of barriers to U.S. trade and investment.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
https://ustr.gov/about-us/policy-offices/press-office/fact-sheets/2018/march/title and https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/presidential-proclamation-take-certain-actions-african-growth-opportunity-act-purposes-3/ and https://ustr.gov/about-us/policy-offices/press-office/press-releases/2018/july/president-donald-j-trump-upholds-agoa
On March 29, 2018 President Trump suspended Rwanda’s trade preference benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). That decision is based upon a determination that the country is not making sufficient progress toward the elimination of barriers to U.S. trade and investment, and therefore is out of compliance with eligibility requirements of AGOA. Consequently, the President notified Congress and the Government of Rwanda of his intent to suspend duty-free treatment for all AGOA-eligible apparel products from Rwanda in 60 days.
The decision came in response to a petition filed by the U.S. used clothing industry in March, 2017, concerning the policies of Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda’s AGOA eligibility regarding their decisions to phase in a ban on imports of used clothing and footwear. The review found that this import ban harms the U.S. used clothing industry and is inconsistent with AGOA beneficiary criteria for countries to eliminate barriers to U.S. trade and investment.
The president is not suspending benefits for Tanzania and Uganda because each has taken steps toward eliminating prohibitive tariff rates on imports of used clothing and footwear and committed not to phase in a ban of these products. The United States will continue to monitor whether Tanzania and Uganda implement these commitments and demonstrate compliance with all of AGOA’s eligibility requirements.
The list of affected products is based on the tariff line list included in the AGOA in 2017 according to the WTO Tariff Download Facility.