The United States has excluded Ethiopia, Mali, and Guinea from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the administration of US President Joe Biden announced on Saturday. That trade agreement, which was concluded in 2000 under then US President Bill Clinton, is intended to facilitate and regulate trade between the United States and African countries.
“The Biden-Harris administration is deeply concerned about the unconstitutional change of government in Guinea and Mali,” the US Trade Representative (USTR) said in a statement.
The US administration is also concerned about the “blatant violations of internationally recognized human rights by the Ethiopian government and by other parties in the ongoing conflict in northern Ethiopia,” it said.
“Each country has clear beacons for a path to reintegration, and the government will work with their governments to achieve that goal,” the USTR assures.
Under the AGOA program, thousands of African products can benefit from reduced import tariffs if human rights, governance, and worker protection conditions are met, and there are no customs bans on US products in the territory.
In 2020, 38 countries were eligible for the AGOA program.