This post originally appeared on the Africa Syndicate Blog on March 31, 2016.
What’s Your Experience with the African Growth and Development Act (AGOA)?
The African Growth and Opportunity, originally enacted in 2000, was renewed in the summer of 2015 for an additional ten years until September 30, 2025. It is described by the U.S. as the cornerstone of the U.S. economic relationship with sub-Saharan Africa and the most generous trade preference program offered by the U.S. While it is good news that AGOA was renewed, at the same time both the U.S. and sub-Saharan countries have entered into trade agreements with third countries and other developed countries such as the European Union and Canada have migrated away from trade preference programs to reciprocal trade agreements. This has led the U.S. to consider policies and approaches beyond preferences for sub-Saharan Africa. Both the Administration and the Congress in reenacting AGOA have expressed an interest in exploring such changes. Continue reading
As we welcome the New Year, it is time for the African continent to take stock of developments in international trade policy that occurred in 2015. The year ended with the 10th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which took place in Nairobi, Kenya from 15 to 19 December 2015, a first such meeting to be hosted by an African nation. The Conference was opened by Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta and hosted by Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade Amina Mohamed. They were joined at the Opening Ceremony by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, whose country concluded its WTO membership negotiations on 16 December 2015. It is interesting to note that the round of trade negotiations being discussed in Nairobi, the Doha Development Agenda (Doha), was launched in Marakesh, Morroco in 2001. Continue reading
Measure Becomes Effective July 1, 2016
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has adopted an important new requirement affecting shippers. The IMO amended the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) to require shippers to verify weights of packed containers, regardless of who packed the container. Continue reading