NAROBI, Kenya ( Associated Press) – Ethiopia says it is unhappy with the US decision to revoke duty-free access to the East African country’s exports.
The statement from Ethiopia’s trade ministry on Monday came after the Biden administration terminated Ethiopia’s eligibility for benefits under the African Development and Opportunity Act on 23 December. The US cited its disapproval of the war in the Tigre region for action.
“The Ethiopian government is saddened by the US’s decision to remove it,” from preferential trade gains, the ministry said. It asked the US to reconsider its decision.
“Ethiopia is taking various initiatives aimed at bringing about peace and stability, political consensus and economic development, besides improving the long-standing relations between the two countries,” the statement said.
The US withheld Ethiopia’s eligibility for trade benefits despite arguments from some US legislators and Ethiopian lobby groups, who asked the Biden administration to give the country more time to comply with US demands.
Biden’s statement said the decision was taken against the African nation for failing to end the nearly year-long war in the Tigre region, which has resulted in “gross violations” of human rights. The action also prevents Guinea and Mali from receiving trade benefits from 1 January.
The Africa Development and Opportunity Act gives sub-Saharan African countries duty-free access to the United States, provided they meet certain requirements, including removing barriers to American trade and investment and making progress toward political pluralism. is included.
The US and the United Nations say Ethiopian officials have blocked trucks from delivering essential food and other aid to Tigre. The Associated Press has reported that millions of people have died of hunger.
In September Biden warned that his administration would impose sanctions if Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed did not take steps to end the war in the Tigre and other regions.
On 3 November, Ethiopia’s Foreign Ministry labeled the move as “misguided” and an “unjustified threat” and said the decision could affect the livelihoods of more than 200,000 low-income Ethiopians who are deprived of preferential trade access. Work for profitable companies.
Some Ethiopian companies are already showing signs of a slowdown in their export business.
“Many companies have already started leaving and we don’t know what will happen next,” Addis Ababa, a textile worker at Havasa Industrial Park, about 270 kilometers (168 miles) south of the capital, told the Associated Press by phone on condition. Fear of anonymity for the safety of your workplace.
Ethiopia was one of Africa’s fastest growing economies in recent years, but the war in the Tigre has dampened that momentum.