With the US President Joe Biden administration sensing an ‘opportune’ time for peace negotiations to end the conflict in northern Ethiopia, the Addis Ababa government and its diaspora supporters are doubling down on their lobbying campaign to restore trade benefits.
In late January, the leadership of the Pennsylvania-based American-Ethiopian Public Affairs Committee (AEPAC) met with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Addis Ababa for a five-hour meeting to discuss the next steps and reconstruction efforts after 15 months of war. A central topic of discussion, an AEPAC lobbyist tells The Africa Report, was restoring Ethiopia’s eligibility under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) after US Trade Representative Katherine Tai suspended the country from the duty-free trade scheme effective 1 January, citing human rights abuses.
Ethiopia was the fifth-largest beneficiary of the AGOA
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