Africa Fashion Guide
A social enterprise promoting sustainability within Africa's fashion and textile industry.



Business

August 6th, 2020

Kenya, Mali and their USA agreements – AFRICAN TRADE BUSINESS INSIGHTS

I started this blog looking at African manufacturing and there is one major aspect to this topic that is often overlooked and that is polices. I shared this on a facebook live I did – see link HERE and will share here too.

As someone looking to start a fashion business made in Africa this is important to know especially if you are USA based.

So as featured on an article on the VOICE OF AMERICA they shared insights to how the United States and Kenya have launched formal negotiations regarding setting up a bilateral trade deal. Something they also hope to replicate across Africa.

“Under President [Donald] Trump’s leadership, we look forward to negotiating and concluding a comprehensive, high-standard agreement with Kenya that can serve as a model for additional agreements across Africa,” said U.S. Ambassador Robert Lighthizer in a joint U.S.-Kenya statement.

The first round of discussions would of course be conducted remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic but they have formed a working group to “lay the groundwork for a stronger future trade relationship” in August 2018, the time they also started a strategic partnership. Trump and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta officially agreed to pursue trade negotiations in February 2020.

The U.S. and Kenya also announced a new strategic cooperation framework Wednesday, meant to help Kenya benefit fully from the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which allows most products from sub-Saharan Africa into the U.S. duty free. The program is scheduled to expire in 2025.

Some are not happy with this believing that a bilateral free trade would hurt Kenyan agriculture and manufacturing and undermine regional economic integration efforts through the African Continental Free Trade Area.

Lighthizer emphasized a deal’s potential for regional unity, saying, “We believe this agreement with Kenya will complement Africa’s regional integration efforts, including in the East African community and the landmark African Continental Free Trade Area, and the United States pledges its continued support to help the AfCFTA achieve its fullest potential.”

Betty Maina, Kenya’s cabinet secretary for industrialization, trade, and enterprise development, said in the statement that an agreement would boost Kenyan exports and foreign investment and would create jobs.

Trump, who opposes U.S. membership in the World Trade Organization, has led the charge to negotiate separate bilateral agreements with American trade partners.

On another note now FIBER2FASHION shared how this same Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) recently notified that imports of eligible products from Mali qualify for the textile and apparel benefits under the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) beginning August 4. That Mali has adopted an effective visa system and related procedures to prevent the unlawful trans-shipment of textile and apparel articles.

F2F shared how Mali has also taken steps to prevent the use of counterfeit documents in connection with the shipment of such articles, and has implemented substantial progress towards implementing and following custom procedures required by the AGOA.

Mali is the 175th largest goods trading partner of the United States with $84 million in total two way goods trade during 2018. Goods exports totalled $79 million; goods imports totalled $5 million; and the US goods trade surplus with Mali was $74 million in 2018, USTR data showed.

There is surely a rumbling and a change erupting in the policy sector and I encourage you to keep an eye on these agreements to learn more how it will impact your own business as fashion and textiles is a big manufacturing opportunity in Africa and globally.
If you are keen to learn more about starting a fashion business in Africa then do watch this free masterclass to gain some insights WEBINAR
Mali qualifies for AGOA benefits, USTR notifies







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