Save AGOA in Ethiopia
Email the Secretary of State (contact form,
see below for sample message)
As many of you know from following the news, Ethiopia is currently in the midst of serious internal conflict. Here at Bolé Road we mourn the violence that has affected so many of our countrymen and women and pray that the New Year will bring peace and healing to Ethiopia.
One of the ways that Ethiopia and other African nations have weathered similar periods of instability in the past is through protecting the ability of everyday people to continue to earn a living during the conflict. Since its implementation in 2000, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) has been one of the single most effective tools the nations of Sub-Saharan Africa have had in bringing industry and much needed employment to some of the most impoverished areas on the continent.
On January 1st, 2022, in response to the ongoing civil conflict, the United States will remove Ethiopia from AGOA. Effective immediately, all Ethiopian exports, including handmade goods, will no longer be duty-free. This will result in thousands of Ethiopians, mostly women employed in the textile and leather industries, losing their jobs. In fact, it’s already happening.
Shortly after the US announced its intention to remove Ethiopia from AGOA, one of the country’s largest private employers, the PVH Corporation (manufacturer of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger) announced the closure of all its Ethiopian factories.
Unlike PVH, I am dedicated to Ethiopia. It’s not the fate of my company, but the fate of my artisan partners, other small businesses and garment workers that I am most concerned with, especially in this current environment.
If you are part of the diaspora, or have a love of all things Ethiopia, or just want to help, please lend your voice to mine and urge Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai to reconsider this punitive policy. Clicking the links below will send a message to both officials that preserving AGOA in Ethiopia means preserving Ethiopian livelihoods.
I urge you to email today:
Dear Secretary Blinken,
I am writing in support of maintaining the African Growth Opportunity Act in Ethiopia.
Ending the policy would result in thousands of Ethiopians in the textiles and apparel industries losing their livelihoods in a country that is already in crisis.
I urge you to keep AGOA in Ethiopia in 2022.
With deep gratitude,