USA will immediately suspend Ethiopian free trade agreement AGOA for human rights violations

USA is expected to immediately suspend AGOA with Ethiopia

There are many reports that tomorrow the United States will announce the removal of Ethiopia from free trade under the  African Growth and opportunity Act due to its failure to maintain human rights standards called for in the treaty. Ethiopia was formally warned of this impending action last month if no changes in human rights violations were happening.  The USA imported $572 million in 2019 from Ethiopia but sold almost $1 billion to Ethiopia. What action Ethiopia will take in response may include reducing American imports to Ethiopia. It is not known what other Western democracies such as the European Union will also follow the same action at this time.

Summary of USA Ethiopian Trade Status (Latest reports available are 2019)Ethiopia is currently our 84th largest goods trading partner with $1.6 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2019. Goods exports totaled $1.0 billion; goods imports totaled $572 million. The U.S. goods trade surplus with Ethiopia was $442 million in 2019.

Ethiopia was the United States’ 77th largest goods export market in 2019.
U.S. goods exports to Ethiopia in 2019 were $1.0 billion, down 22.5% ($295 million) from 2018 but up 279.8% from 2009.
The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2019 were: aircraft ($736 million), cereals (wheat) ($63 million), machinery ($38 million), electrical machinery ($38 million), and special other (returns) ($26 million).
U.S. total exports of agricultural products to Ethiopia totaled $109 million in 2019. Leading domestic export categories include: wheat ($62 million), pulses ($10 million), vegetable oils (ex. soybean) ($7 million), prepared food ($2 million), and coarse grains (ex. corn) ($1 million).

Ethiopia was the United States’ 88th largest supplier of goods imports in 2019.
U.S. goods imports from Ethiopia totaled $572 million in 2019, up 28.6% ($127 million) from 2018, and up 406.5% from 2009.
The top import categories (2-digit HS) in 2019 were: coffee, tea & spice (coffee) ($131 million), woven apparel ($112 million), knit apparel ($98 million), special other (returns) ($95 million), and electrical machinery ($45 million).
U.S. total imports of agricultural products from Ethiopia totaled $151 million in 2019. Leading categories include: unroasted coffee ($130 million), nursery products ($6 million), spices ($3 million), planting seeds ($357 thousand), and wine and beer ($271 thousand).

Author: Professor Tony Magana

Professor Tony Magana is Head of the Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences at Mekelle University in Mekelle, Ethiopia. He directs a neurosurgery residency and training program as well as neuroscience research.

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