Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Rwanda's AGOA Apparel Benefit Suspended Due to Used Clothing Ban

The President, on July 30, 2018, issued a proclamation suspending the application of duty-free treatment for all AGOA-eligible goods in the apparel sector from Rwanda.

An AGOA issue relating to new barriers to United States trade and investment first arose in 2015 when the East African Community (EAC) established a plan to ban imports of used clothing and footwear. The USTR’s engagement on this issue intensified in 2016 when the EAC announced it would phase in the ban by 2019. Thereafter, three EAC AGOA beneficiaries—Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda—worked with the United States and took actions to revise their policies. As a result, they continue to receive full benefits under AGOA. Unfortunately, Rwanda has insisted on keeping in place a policy that has raised tariffs on imports of used apparel and footwear by more than one thousand percent, effectively banning imports of these products.

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