U.S. President Joe Biden announced on November 2021 the decision to terminate Ethiopia’s designation as a beneficiary country under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) at the end of this year.
Despite many efforts made by international and local parties, the Biden administration decided to go through its decision.
The sanction of the AGOA will be effective from January 9, 2022, including for Ethiopia, Mali, and Guinea, stating they could not meet the demands.
Although the Biden administration gave a two-month notice period before it was canceled, high-profile congressional leaders expressed their concern that this decision would hurt the nation’s most vulnerable and reverse hard-won economic gains without reducing hostilities in the ongoing civil war.
The termination of Ethiopia was acquitted of alleged human rights abuses in connection with the Tigray war. in addition to pressure on Ethiopia’s government to negotiate with the TPLF.
Earlier this week, Senator Van Hollen, chair of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy, and Congresswoman Bass, Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations wrote a letter for the Biden administration to reconsider its decision. Noting the suspension of AGOA benefits will be counterproductive and disproportionately harm the most vulnerable Ethiopians without contributing to the cessation of hostilities.
The Ethiopian American Citizens’ Council has been pushing hard for Ethiopia not to be deprived of the benefits of the AGOA, which has been in place for many years.