The American-Ethiopian Public Affairs Committee (AEPAC), request the President of the United State to save Ethiopian jobs and livelihoods through a global petition platform Change.org.
Removing Ethiopia from AGOA will stunt the Ethiopian economy and punish countless hardworking Ethiopians who rely on these jobs to put their children through school and keep food on the table.
In addition, this sudden hit to Ethiopian production could reverberate throughout all Sub-Saharan African economies. Put simply, the United States’ delisting of Ethiopia hurts innocent civilians who are already living with an active civil conflict, as well as the region at large.
AGOA is legislation that secures trade benefits between the U.S. and African nations, including Ethiopia. After its enactment, poverty in Ethiopia fell by 42 percent and over one million jobs were created.
AGOA is critical to Ethiopia because trade creates economic growth and develops economic corridors that bring jobs and higher wages to the region.
In addition, the delisting of Ethiopia from AGOA does untold damage to U.S. interests in Africa by opening the door to U.S. competitors in the region. Ethiopia has long been a strategic partner for the U.S. in the region and for good reason. As a burgeoning democracy with a strategic location in the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia is a critical geopolitical partner.
Not only that, Ethiopia is the US’s 3rd largest export market in Sub-Saharan Africa. The delisting announcement sent shockwaves through the American retail and investment markets in Ethiopia. Since then, China has announced a 10 billion USD investment in Africa.
Ethiopian must act now to reverse this senseless AGOA delisting, saving Ethiopian workers and the economy before it’s too late.
It is to be recalled that Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee has recently called on the concerned body to stand with Ethiopia and renew its eligibility and participation in the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
On her Twitter page, Sheila said that: “We must renew Ethiopia’s eligibility and involvement in the AGOA.”
As to her, she remembered well the first inaugural trip to establish AGOA on the continent of Africa, where she traveled with a Congressional Delegation. Ethiopia was one of the reasons that AGOA passed the United States Congress, Sheila added.
She also said that the U.S. has to stand with Ethiopia against divisive forces and support the efforts of this government to stand for democracy for its people and surrounding nations. “Ethiopia is a strong economic engine on the continent of Africa, and its survival as a democratic and safe nation will be dependent on its ability to engage in trade and economic opportunities for its people”, according to the Ethiopian Herald.