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AGOA at risk in East African war over used clothes

Way forward

The Magezi notes that since the proposed ban will affect both well to do middle class and the poor, it should put the same tax measures on the new clothing so that the pricing of new clothing is as high as that of the used clothes.

She also suggests that banning import of used clothes should be done in a phased approach to soften the impact of the ban on the domestic consumers as well as the source countries.

This, she, says would also make implementation of the ban easier, by putting in place relevant standards that support only the importation of high grade clothes.

She also says that EAC need revise the policy on economic processing zones for domestic supply to increase the percentage of products that can be sold into the EAC market specifically for the cotton, apparel, textile and leather sectors.

“(However), the factors that are affecting industrial production in Africa are not mainly used clothes but the unfavorable conditions for industrial growth and development in some of the partner states. If these conditions such as high electricity tariffs, absence of real tax incentives among others are not addressed, the ban will not achieve its intended goal of boosting progress in the region,” she added.

Moses Ogwal, director Policy Advocacy and Trade at the Private Sector Foundation Uganda told The Independent that while used clothes pose a risk to the textile industry, it will only occur when local production has increased.

He suggests the need to have a mix of used clothes that competes favourably with the newer ones on the market as local industries improves production to meet consumer needs.

Global share of used clothes import in 2015

Countries % of imports
Pakisatn 10.2
Malasyia 7.1
Russian Federation 5.8
India 5.5
Tunisia 4.6
Guetemala 4.3
Netherlands 3.4
Germany 3.4
Hungary 3.3
Uganda 3.2
Poland 3.1
Mozambique 3.1
Chile 3.1
Tanzania 3.0
Canada 3.0
Others 33.9

Source: United Nations Data

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