Tanzania Narrowly Misses U.S. Ban on Cloth Export

Second-hand clothes traders display their wares.

Tanzania has escaped the wrath of the United States in banning duty-free treatment of its cloth imports, with the axe falling on Rwanda after its decision to impose barriers on U.S. exports of secondhand clothing.

Tanzania and neighbouring Uganda will continue to benefit from the duty free treatment of its clothing imports stipulated under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

According to reports, a letter from US President Donald Trump to Congress stated that United States is continuing AGOA benefits for Tanzania and Uganda because both have taken steps towards eliminating used clothing tariffs, the U.S.

Trade Representative's office said in a separate statement. "I commend Tanzania and Uganda for taking corrective steps to address the United States' concerns... we have and will continue to work with Rwanda to resolve this situation,"

Deputy US Trade Representative C J Mahoney said in a statement. As for Rwanda, the letter noted that its duty-free status for apparel will end in 60 days if no corrective actions by Rwanda are taken.

The action followed a petition by the US used clothing industry last year alleging that planned bans by Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda on used clothing and footwear harmed the industry.

The AGOA trade programme provides eligible sub-Saharan countries duty-free access to the United States on condition that they meet certain statutory eligibility requirements, including eliminating barriers to U.S.

trade and investment, among others. "The President believes suspension of these benefits, instead of termination of Rwanda's status as an AGOA beneficiary, would allow for continued engagement with the aim of restoring market access and thereby bringing Rwanda into compliance with the AGOA eligibility requirements," the statement reads in par

Sunday News Reporter and Agency

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