US NGO SMART's trade ties to continue with 4 EAC nations

07 Apr '18
2 min read

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) recently intimated Abingdon, Maryland-based non-profit Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART) that a proposed ban on second hand clothing imports from the United States by members of the East African Community (EAC) will not be implemented by four of the five nations that proposed the ban.

Kenya announced its decision to back off from the ban in 2017, and Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi have now officially announced their decision on the same lines, according to a press release from SMART.

SMART, a trade association, acts on behalf of its numerous small and medium-sized member companies who use, convert and recycle pre-and post-consumer textiles, including used clothing.

In March 2017, the non-profit had filed a petition and delivered testimony during a related hearing asking the US Government to conduct an out-of-cycle review of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) beneficiary status of Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda and request the suspension of duty-free status for all currently eligible apparel imports from these countries.

While EAC heads of state were concerned US second hand textiles disrupting their countries’ own textile industries, SMART representatives argued that new and second hand apparel industries coexist independently in numerous developed and developing countries, including the United States.

These EAC members have announced they will focus on other measures to develop their textile and apparel industry.

On the US Government’s recent to suspend Rwanda’s AGOA benefits in 60 days, SMART executive director Jackie King hoped Rwanda will reconsider its position as that will impose unnecessary economic harm to its people. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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