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Liberia begins duty-free textile export to USA
Feb '11
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf welcomed a decision by the Government of the United States to provide duty-free preference for Liberian textile and clothing being imported into the US under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

Speaking in Sinkor during a tour of Liberian textile and clothing, the President described the decision as a milestone for the Government, Liberian manufacturers and exporters of Liberian made textiles and clothing.

The President noted that the program will help Liberian manufacturers of textile and apparel gain a competitive edge against manufacturers from other parts of the world.

The President urged all small and large Liberian businesses, to explore opportunities to export Liberian goods and manufactures under preferential terms, whether under the AGOA, or any other special arrangements with the Mano River Union members and China.

The President observed that the Liberian Government implemented the necessary systems and laws in the shortest possible time among sub-Saharan African countries. The Liberian Government, the President indicated, was able to prove to the US Government that it had the capacity and the manpower to implement a system (AGOA VISA) that could stop and detect illegal trade in textile and clothing. The ongoing implementation efforts the President said will cut across Government, involving Finance (Customs) and Justice.

Meanwhile, The Liberia Women Sewing Project (LWSP) has begun exporting textiles to the United States under AGOA, the first since Liberia was approved for the project 2 years ago.

Under the Act, the group, certified as the first fair trade factory in Liberia is exporting products free of custom duties.

The Managing Director of the group, Chidegar Liberty, speaking during the inspection of the facilities by the President, said the group is exporting 5,000 T-shirts to the United States, upon the order of a textile company.

Mr. Liberty said the T-shirts are unique as they were made in Liberia with fabric of cotton grown in Africa under good working conditions.

A letter from the office of the US President's Trade Representative, Ambassador Ron Kirk, to Commerce Minister Miatta Beysolow, confirmed that Liberia has met all the AGOA requirements for duty-free preference for Liberian textile and clothing imported into the United States.

The Executive Mansion, Government of Liberia

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