By David Himbara
Kagame has self-appointed to speak for East African countries in their trade wars with the United States. He bombastically says that East Africa won’t allow used clothes from the US to protect the region’s domestic industries. The Americans are saying that blocking any of their products from entering East Africa is anti-trade. The US says it will retaliate by denying East Africa access to the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), a Trade Act, enacted in 2000.
AGOA provides beneficiary countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) with liberal access to the US market. AGOA also provides improved access to US credit and technical expertise, and establishes a high-level dialogue on trade and investment through the US-SSA Trade and Economic Forum.
Now Kagame is flatly rejecting importation of second hand clothes from the US – and is speaking for East Africa. Kagame speaking for East Africa may be likened to an insect 🐜 leading elephants 🐘 🐘 🐘. Look at the size of East African economies.
- Kenya: GDP – US$63 billion
- Tanzania: GDP – US$45 billion
- Uganda: GDP – US$27 billion
- Rwanda: GDP – US$8 billion
Now look at East African trade with the United States:
- Kenya is the US’s 85th largest goods trading partner with $1.5 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2015. US exports to Kenya totalled $937 million; Kenyan exports to the US totalled $565 million.
- Tanzania is the US’s 133rd largest goods trading partner with $276 million in total (two way) goods trade during 2015. US exports totalled $171 million; Tanzania exports to the US totalled $105 million.
- Uganda is the US’s 150th largest goods trading partner with $154 million in total (two way) goods trade during 2015. US exports totalled $90 million; Uganda exports to the totalled $64 million.
- Rwanda is the US’s 177th largest goods trading partner with $60 million in total (two way) goods trade during 2015. US exports to Rwanda totalled $14 million; Rwanda exports to the US totalled $46 million.
Mr Kagame, evidently you have little to trade. So, why not keep quiet, build an economy, and then talk? You are just a loud ant 🐜 trying to speak for elephants 🐘. Careful. The elephants might step on you.