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Monday, November 4, 2019

Here are all it takes to exclude Cameroon from Agoa

US President Donald Trump has decided Thursday to suspend Cameroon from the list of countries eligible for Agoa

The exclusion of Cameroon from the African Growth Opportunities Act (Agoa) will take effect from January 1, 2019. At least, it will be so if the violence that shakes the country for several years continue, "said President Donald Trump on Thursday. offers some ways to understand the implication of this decision. 

Agoa, the African Growth and Opportunity Act, is an American initiative that allows sub-Saharan African countries to sell their products in the US without duty. This law was promulgated in 2012 with the objective of promoting trade and investment between the United States and sub-Saharan Africa by granting admitted countries duty-free and unrestricted access to the US market in order to improve African competitiveness. 

More than 70% of African exports to the United States came under the umbrella of Agoa. Cameroon exported approximately $ 220 million (129.619 billion CFA francs) in goods and services to the United States. $ 63 million (37.118 billion CFA francs) of these exports were accounted for by Agoa, or 28.3% of merchandise. 

Only 2.6% of Cameroonian products are sold in the US in 2018, according to the note on foreign trade of Cameroon from the National Institute of Statistics .. This country is not one of the preferred destinations for local exporters. Cameroon's main customers are China (22.2%), Italy (13.7%), the Netherlands (8.4%), France (5.9%) and Spain (5%). , 9%) acquired 77.5% of Cameroon's export products.

According to national statistics, US imports to Cameroon (3.9%) remain minimalist compared to Chinese (18.5%), French (8.3%) and Nigerian (5.6%) competitors. 

The US President determines each year whether the member countries have made progress in meeting the eligibility criteria for Agoa. In particular: the guarantee of a political system where all citizens are equal under the law and the law, the fight against corruption and bribes, among others. 

The exclusion of Cameroon because of "violation of human rights" is a censorship. It highlights the deterioration of political relations between Washington and Yaoundé. Tensions more and more made visible in antagonistic positions. The United States demanded the release of "Ambazon" leaders while Yaoundé called them for terrorism. The country has failed to congratulate Paul Biya for his re-election as President of the Republic and recently, while Yaoundé was still pleased with the success of the national dialogue, the United States asked for new negotiations. 

Despite this, the United States has never failed to welcome good cooperation between the two countries.