US excludes Ethiopia, Mali and Guinea from US-Africa trade pact on rights violations

President Joe Biden’s administration announced on Saturday that it had excluded Ethiopia, Mali and Guinea from a trade agreement between the United States and Africa, and said that the actions of the three governments violated its principles.

“The United States today withdrew Ethiopia, Mali and Guinea from the AGOA Trade Preference Program due to actions taken by each of their governments in violation of the AGOA Charter,” the United States Trade Representative (USTR) said in a statement.

The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) was introduced in 2000 under the administration of former President Bill Clinton to facilitate and regulate trade between the United States and Africa.

But the United States is “deeply concerned about the unconstitutional change in the governments of both Guinea and Mali,” the statement said.

It also expressed concern about “gross violations of internationally recognized human rights committed by the Ethiopian government and other parties in the midst of the escalating conflict in northern Ethiopia.”

“Each country has clear guidelines for a path to re-entry and the administration will work with its governments to achieve that goal,” the USTR said.

Under the AGOA, thousands of African products can benefit from reduced import taxes, provided that human rights, good governance and occupational safety and health conditions are met, as well as not imposing a tariff ban on US products on their territory.

By 2020, 38 countries were eligible for AGOA, according to the USTR’s website.

The agreement was modernized in 2015 by the US Congress, which also extended the program to 2025.


This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More