AAFA appeals for immediate end to humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia
Posted November 11, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) continued to press for an immediate end to the humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region following the Biden administration’s announcement that it will revoke the country’s trade preferences under the African Growth and Opportunity Act, effective January 1, 2022.
“The humanitarian crisis in the Tigray region is simply unacceptable,” said Steve Lamar, president and CEO of the AAFA. “We urge all parties to ensure the safe passage of emergency relief and aid as a first step toward the cessation of hostilities and a process that will result in lasting peace. It is also our hope that AGOA benefits will not be interrupted as this would exacerbate a growing humanitarian crisis.”
The U.S. Trade Representative has announced that it will provide clear benchmarks for a pathway for Ethiopia to prevent revocation, as well as a commitment from the Biden Administration to work with them to achieve that objective.
AAFA sent a letter to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed last month regarding the humanitarian crisis in Tigray. This followed the industry’s previous efforts supporting a peaceful resolution. U.S. companies are poised to diversify out of China, and Africa is a logical place for many of them. By utilizing the benefits of AGOA, U.S. companies can grow a vertical, responsible and competitive apparel and footwear industry in Africa.
Ethiopia is the 22nd largest supplier of apparel to the U.S. market. The country has experienced significant growth during the past five years – growing by 548% since 2016.