1606 Working Group News on Trade – June 2016


  1.      Brussels to end preferential trade access for uncooperative African countries


The EU plans to raise the pressure on six African countries to implement controversial free trade agreements by putting an end to their preferential access to the EU market.  Frustrated by the slow pace of progress in its negotiations with certain countries in the Africa, which have advanced little in ten years, the European Commission plans to end the preferential access of Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Botswana, Namibia and Swaziland to European markets by October 2016. The EU’s objective is to push its African partners to ratify the EPAs that will replace the non-reciprocal trade preferences granted by the EU to these countries as part of the Cotonou agreement of June 2000. 



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      2.   Signature EPA EU-EAC in July in Nairobi


On 20 June 2016, the Council authorised, on behalf of the EU, the signature and provisional application of the economic partnership agreement (EPA) between the EU and the East African Community (EAC). It appears that the EPA (FTA) between the European Union and the East African Community (EAC) will be signed during the UNCTAD conference in July in Nairobi! How very cynical to sign such an anti-development agreement during the UN trade and development conference.



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      3.    The EPA would liberalize the majority of EU agricultural exports to West Africa


This document is limited to assessing the importance of the liberalization of agricultural imports in the EU-West Africa (WA) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) given the crucial nature of these products for WA where around 60% of the active population works in agriculture and where the food deficit rises sharply, even if WA has an agricultural trade surplus vis-à-vis the EU owing to cocoa exports, but a growing large deficit without them. Keeping also in mind that WA industrialization will be necessarily based on the processing of regional agricultural products not only for processed food but also for non-food products, such as the textile and garnment industry processing regional cotton.



Full paper here

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