USA signs agreement to streamline trade with EAC

US signs trade deal with EACThe USA has signed a cooperation agreement with regional economic organisation the East African Community (EAC) to promote and enhance trade relations between East Africa and the USA

The agreement will promote closer ties between the USA and the EAC’s five constituent members – Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi – who already take part in the US African Growth and Opportunity Act (2000).

Under the terms of the existing agreement, EAC countries have duty-free access to the USA markets, with the White House keen to expand this cooperation given China’s rapid economic incursion into the continent in recent years.

The new agreement will focus on three key areas – trade facilitation, Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT).

The parties have committed themselves to reducing customs waiting times and red tape, which hinders free travel and trade, whilst the USA has agreed to provide animal and plant health, food safety and technical training.

The total two-way trade in goods between the USA and the EAC was US$2.8bn in 2014, with US exports at US$2bn and imports totalling US$743mn.

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