Textile makers breathe sigh of relief at last
Monday, 18 June 2012
African countries exporting textile products under the Africa Growth and Opportunities Act got relief after America gave firm assurance that the provision to have them source raw materials locally would be extended to September 2015.
US Secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, told African countries during the 11th Agoa Forum in Washington on Thursday that her country was working to have the Third Country Multi-Fibre provision that will end in September renewed.
The assurance came loaded with caution from President Barrack Obama that it is countries that embrace good governance, democracy and human rights that would benefit from the Agoa initiative.
Agoa IV, which was to succeed this trade arrangement demanded that African countries exporting under the initiative source for raw materials locally, which would have effectively locked out countries like Kenya.
"Now I realise that the matter of renewing Agoa is on many people’s minds right now, and renewing the Third Country Multi-Fiber provision is even more urgent." she said.
"Please know that the State department is working closely with the United States Trade Representatives (USTR’s) Office, with our partners in Congress, to accelerate this process, and I have every confidence that we will see Agoa’s Third Country Multi-Fiber provision renewed," Ms Clinton added.
She said the extension was vital to textile manufacturers across the continent and had widespread business support in America.
There have been jitters by textile manufacturers over the silence of America about the future of the Agoa initiative, particularly on demand for manufacturers to source their raw materials locally from September if they were to continue accessing the American market.