African countries have urged the US not to use the out-of-cycle reviews under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) in a manner that restricts their ability to pursue policies in their national interest, in particular those that promote industrialisation. Agoa provides duty-free, quota-free treatment for more than 6,000 tariff lines from African countries into the US market. East African countries Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda — are being subjected to out-of-cycle reviews of their eligibility to partake in Agoa because they have imposed higher tariffs on imported second-hand clothing to protect and promote their own textile sectors. This fell foul of interests in the US, which complained to the trade administration. Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter, the Department of Trade and Industry’s deputy director-general for international trade and economic development explained that eligibility for Agoa required that countries have a market-based economy with no barriers to US trade and investment....

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