The United States of America has set preconditions to return Ethiopia to the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA).
In a letter sent to the US embassy in Addis Ababa, the Biden administration demanded the government of Ethiopia to allow rights groups investigate ‘human rights violations’ allegedly committed by all parties to the nearly two-year conflict in northern Ethiopia.
The US cut Ethiopia out of a duty-free trade program over alleged human rights violations mostly in the northern part of the country.
According to information reaching Mereja.com, Tracey Jacobson, US ambassador to Ethiopia has already communicated with the Ethiopian authorities on US’ position to bring Ethiopia back to the AGOA program.
The year-long sanction has affected small businesses and millions of low-paid employees, mostly women working in textile and leather industries.
The US’ precondition comes after Jacobson paid a visit to Hawassa Industrial Park which was highly affected by the sanction. The ambassador witnessed that international companies have already left the industry park following the sanction.
The AGOA trade legislation provides sub-Saharan African nations with duty-free access to the US if they meet certain eligibility requirements, such as eliminating barriers to US trade and investment and making progress towards political pluralism.
Last April, a U.S. Senator Mark Warner had requested the senate to return Ethiopia to AGOA following a ceasefire.