Coalition Urges Congress To Demand Fair Treatment From Countries That Get U.S. Trade Benefits
In a letter sent today to lawmakers, the coalition pointed out that “barriers to U.S. exports in GSP beneficiary countries are widespread and are often in flagrant violation of international obligations.”
“The fact that these countries may maintain these restrictions on U.S. goods while benefitting from unilateral preferential treatment for their products in the U.S. market – and with little apparent concern about losing those tariff benefits – is clearly inconsistent with the intent of Congress, and we believe this must change,” the coalition concluded.
In a separate letter to Congress, the coalition stated its strong opposition to a long-term or permanent extension of AGOA.
Either extension, said the coalition, would remove any incentive for beneficiary nations to move toward reciprocal trade relationships with the United States. A number of African countries, including Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, have non-tariff trade barriers to U.S. goods, most of which violate World Trade Organization (WTO) trade rules.
In extending AGOA, the coalition is urging lawmakers to require, at a minimum, that beneficiary countries “refrain from erecting blatantly protectionist and WTO-incompatible barriers to our products.”
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