Second-hand clothes are referred using several names in Africa. For instance, the clothes are referred to as a clothing calamity in Mozambique. As for Kenya, the clothes are referred to as the clothes of the dead white people. For starters, these are the clothes that have been used here in the United States. After these clothes have been treated, they are then exported to Africa where they are accessible at a lower price. Now, some African nations especially those from the eastern bloc say that they are no longer interested in the clothes. They claim that these clothes are undermining their efforts of manufacturing their own clothes.
However, this comes at a price as they claim that the United States is punishing them for their efforts. For the past two years, several nations in East Africa such as South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda have unsuccessfully tried to impose bans on this commodity. They often cite the reason that these clothes undermine the domestic textile industries. These nations have jointly expressed their desire to issue an outright ban by the end of 2019. In Africa, second-hand merchandise is the norm of the day. Other than clothing, other products used in the region are second-hand products.
This includes products such as drugs, computers, hospital equipment, planes, and cars. South Africa has been complaining that the Netherlands is disposing old medical equipment into the country. As for Ghana, the nation has become a dumping site for ex-UK electronic products. Rwanda has said that it’s banning the clothes because they are undermining the dignity of its citizens. When these African nations raised the import tariffs to curb the importation, they were threatened by the United States Trade Representative Office. Four of the six nations were told that they would be removed from the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act.
The United States was serious about this threat as it had already expelled South Sudan and Burundi from the pact. The deal allows these nations to access American market at a lower tariff. Some of the products that these nations export to the United States include tea, coffee, and oil. However, this deal has a provision where the United States can end the relationship if it feels that it’s not benefiting from the relationship. This is one of the many Trump administration policies that seek to protect American jobs while at the same time maintaining access to small, promising markets.