Home Business & Economy Rwanda’s Kagame sticks to used clothes ban despite U.S. threats

Rwanda’s Kagame sticks to used clothes ban despite U.S. threats


Rwandan President Paul Kagame has stated that his country will proceed with the ban on used clothes despite threats by the United States to review trade benefits to Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.

He told local media last week that Rwanda will choose to grow its local textile industry at the expense of being a member of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

“This is the choice we find that we have to make. As far as I am concerned, making the choice is simple, we might suffer consequences. Even when confronted with difficult choices, there is always a way,” he said after officially applying to run for a third term in office.

“Rwanda and other countries in the region that are part of AGOA, have to do other things, we have to grow and establish our industries,” Kagame added.

Rwanda and other countries in the region that are part of AGOA, have to do other things, we have to grow and establish our industries.

Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and South Sudan decided to fully ban imported second-hand clothes and shoes by 2019, arguing it would help member countries boost domestic clothes manufacturing.

As signatories to the AGOA trade programme which offers them duty-free access to the United States, their decision violates the conditions including eliminating barriers to U.S. trade and investment, among others.

The U.S. Trade Representative said last Tuesday that it was reviewing trade benefits to the three countries in response to a petition filed by a United States body that complained that the ban “imposed significant hardship” on the U.S. used-clothing industry.

U.S. imports from Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda totaled $43 million in 2016, up from $33 million in 2015 while exports were $281 million in 2016, up from $257 million in 2015.

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  1. I support Kagame’s ban. There isn’t another option. A market as huge as that should be fully self supported. Yes ! Build up and expand the clothing and textile industry.

  2. Thank you President Kagame. Overdue. Can’t believe the stupidity of so-called leaders who always sell our nations short.

  3. Commitments to AGOA are important, but priority should be given to the growth of yet embryonary local industries. The ban should be supported. If the policy is effectively applied in addition to supporting measures , in the long term, benefits from the policy will outweight consequences of any U.S. sanction multifold

  4. having looked at the environmental impact of the textile industry in China, I would rather encourage African countries to pursue the high technology industry and let African wear second hand clothing. I think if we plan well and manage our human resource training and invest in high technology we will gradually get there. Textile industry is a longterm liability.

  5. Africa has been suffering for many years in order to receive crumbs off the table of white supremacy. Self determination outweighs all that other trivia. “Up you mighty race” It is time to take your place in the world!

  6. In the first instance why only Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania ? The resolutions had Burundi, Kenya and Southern Sudan as well. What ever the case the local industries require protection to grow. Benefits from this development may affect other interests elsewhere but it is an affordable cost. Long live Mr President!


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