Africa: A Message to the Congress on the Termination of the Designation of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (Ethiopia), the Republic of Guinea (Guinea), and the Republic of Mali (Mali) as beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, addressing the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, issued an urgent appeal for a ceasefire in Ethiopia.(screen shot)
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Washington, DC — STATEMENTS AND RELEASES TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:

In accordance with section 506A(a)(3)(B) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2466a (a)(3)(B)), I am providing advance notification of my intent to terminate the designation of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (Ethiopia), the Republic of Guinea (Guinea), and the Republic of Mali (Mali) as beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

I am taking this step as Ethiopia, Guinea, and Mali are not in compliance with the eligibility requirements of section 104 of the AGOA — in Ethiopia, for gross violations of internationally recognized human rights; in Guinea, for not having established, or not making continual progress toward establishing, the protection of the rule of law and of political pluralism; and in Mali, for not having established, or not making continual progress toward establishing, the protection of the rule of law, political pluralism, and internationally recognized worker rights, and for not addressing gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.

Despite intensive engagement between the United States and the Governments of Ethiopia, Guinea, and Mali, these governments have failed to address United States concerns about their non-compliance with the AGOA eligibility criteria.

Accordingly, I intend to terminate the designation of Ethiopia, Guinea, and Mali as beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries under the AGOA as of January 1, 2022.  I will continue to assess whether the Governments of Ethiopia, Guinea, and Mali are making continual progress toward meeting the AGOA eligibility requirements.

JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

RELATED:

Statement From Ambassador Katherine Tai on the African Growth and Opportunity Act Eligibility Review

Ambassador Katherine Tai today released the following statement on the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA):

"Today, President Biden announced three countries will be terminated from the AGOA trade preference program as of January 1, 2022, absent urgent action to meet statutory eligibility criteria. Our Administration is deeply concerned by the unconstitutional change in governments in both Guinea and Mali, and by the gross violations of internationally recognized human rights being perpetrated by the Government of Ethiopia and other parties amid the widening conflict in northern Ethiopia.  These countries are set to be removed from this program due to actions taken by their governments in violation of the AGOA Statute.  The United States urges these governments to take necessary actions to meet the statutory criteria so we can resume our valued trading partnerships.  I will provide each country with clear benchmarks for a pathway toward reinstatement and our Administration will work with them to achieve that objective."

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