US to remove Uganda and three other African countries from Agoa trade deal

UNITES STATES: US President Joe Biden has revealed plans to expel Uganda, Gabon, Niger and the Central African Republic from a special US-Africa trade programme.

The countries were either involved in “gross violations” of human rights or not making progress towards democratic rule, the president said.

The US introduced the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) in 2000.

It gives eligible sub-Saharan African countries duty-free access to the US for more than 1,800 products.

President Biden said that Niger and Gabon – both of which are currently under military rule following coups this year – are ineligible for Agoa because they “have not established, or are not making continual progress toward establishing the protection of political pluralism and the rule of law”.

He also said that the removal of the CAR and Uganda from the programme was due to “gross violations of internationally recognised human rights” by their governments.

In May, the US government said it was considering removing Uganda from Agoa and introducing sanctions on the country after it passed a controversial anti-homosexuality law.

The law, which imposes a death penalty on people found guilty of engaging in certain same-sex acts, has faced global criticism.


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