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Rwanda-US talks on AGOA in advanced stage

Negotiations between Rwanda and the United States to review the US African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) to ensure continued duty-free access of Rwandan commodities to the US market are at an advanced stage. Rwanda Development Board chief executive officer Emmanuel Hategeka said they want to ensure the country is not locked out of the trade window.

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Rwanda Development Board chief executive officer Emmanuel Hategeka

As Rwanda and other East African Community (EAC) states decided to phase out and eventually ban import of second hand clothes, the United States conducted an out-of-cycle review on the eligibility of Rwanda under AGOA in July this year.

The EAC decision was aimed at backing the textile industry in the region and preserving the dignity of the east African citizens, according to a report in a Rwandan newspaper. Rwanda had last year increased taxes on used clothes from $0.2 to $2.5 per kilogram.

Exports from the three EAC nations — Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda — through the AGOA was $43 million in 2016, whereas US exports into the three nations was $281 million. (DS)

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