U.S. President Donald Trump said his chief strategist Steve Bannon was “not a racist” and then said “we’ll see what happens with Mr. Bannon.” Continue reading
WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES (FILE- FEBRUARY 8, 2017) (RESTRICTED POOL) – Intel CEO Brian Krzanich became the third CEO to resign, on Monday (August 14), from U.S. President Donald Trump’s American Manufacturing Council, following Trump’s initially tepid response to weekend violence at a rally of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia.
U.S. authorities begin to investigate the deadly violence stemming from a white nationalist rally in Virginia that challenged President Trump’s leadership. Linda So reports. Continue reading
Togo hosted an annual conference on the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) this week, bringing together various stakeholders from African nations and the United States. In 2015, the US Congress renewed the zero tariff deal for 10 years. Analysts have questioned how the programme will fare under U.S president Donald Trump’s presidency, given his “America First” campaign, that has seen him withdraw from various international trade deals.
SHOWS: LOME, TOGO (AUGUST 09, 2017) (REUTERS) – Talks between African and U.S. officials to review the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) free trade deal ended on Thursday (August 10) with no decision and a feeling of all sides that it had achieved little since it was set up.
President Donald Trump’s top trade negotiator Robert E. Lighthizer and other U.S. officials have been in the tiny West African nation of Togo over the past two days to discuss the Clinton-era trade pact with sub-Saharan Africa.
Trump’s “America First” campaign has seen him withdraw from the Trans Pacific Partnership, threated to tear up the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and seek to renegotiate the U.S.-South Korea free trade deal.
But his administration has said little about Africa, and had not previously mentioned the 2000 AGOA trade agreement. It is not clear whether the U.S. wants to change the deal before it expires in 2025 or extend it further – no decision was made on either count.
AGOA allows tariff-free access for thousands of goods from 38 African nations to U.S. markets.
But few African economies can take advantage of a U.S. trade initiative providing to the world’s largest market because they have little to export beyond commodities, an asset class where prices are in free fall.
Togo’s minister of commerce Bernadette Legzim-Balouki said that although not all the countries eligible have benefited from the law, the agreement allowed Africa to access the US market and that member countries will examine the constraints that prevent some African countries from profiting.
“2025 was the year that the AGOA agreement will officially came to an end. If the United States decides not to extend the agreement, does that mean that our trade relationship with the U.S must also come to an end? Not at all! African entrepreneurs and other stakeholders were able to have access to the US market. They have straightened their partnerships with economic partners in the U.S. A door has been opened, a relationship was established between the US and African countries,” she said.
Legzim-Balouki also said that the United States and the nations eligible for AGOA had agreed on some loose aims, including: to develop a better plan to take full advantage of the pact, for each eligible country to have bilateral talks with the United States, and the need for a mechanism to protect African producers from price volatility.
US officials at the forum said that the number of countries benefiting from AGOA was very limited, as is the number of sectors, adding that they will see if the situation improves in the coming years, but it is also up to the beneficiary countries to enhance their business climate.
“The AGOA programme was renewed for ten years by congress by a large margin. That means that we have 8 years of the law in place. It’s true that the environment has changed, and we are currently studying the best ways for African countries to benefit from AGOA,” said Peter Barlerin a representative of the US state department.
The U.S. trade deficit with the AGOA countries shrank to about $7.9 billion last year from a peak of $64 billion in 2008, as U.S. shale oil production increases have lessened the need for oil imports from major exporters Nigeria and Angola.
CLEVELAND, OHIO, UNITED STATES (RESTRICTED POOL) – U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday (August 6)denied a New York Times report suggesting he is eyeing a 2020 run for president, calling it “disgraceful and offensive.” Continue reading
Investigators working for U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating whether President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russia, have asked the White House for documents related to his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, the New York Times is reporting. Alva French reports. Continue reading
WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES (FILE – JUNE 20, 2017) (NBC) – Special counsel Robert Mueller has convened a grand jury in Washington to investigate allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday (August 3), citing two unnamed people familiar with the matter. Continue reading
Scuffles break out during President Trump’s rally in West Virginia as during a speech by Governor Jim Justice who was announcing his switch from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party. Continue reading
WASHINGTON, D.C. , UNITED STATES (RECENT-JULY 21, 2017) (NBC) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, is leaving the job after little over a week, the White House said on Monday (July 31), in the latest staff upheaval to hit the Republican’s six-month-old presidency. Continue reading
WASHINGTON, D.C. AND UNKNOWN LOCATION, UNITED STATES (JULY 28, 2017) (FOX NEWS CHANNEL’S HANNITY) – Former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus in an interview on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” show on Friday (July 28) said he offered to resign and that he was not asked to resign hours after President Donald Trump replaced him after only six months on the job, installing retired General John Kelly in his place in a major shake-up of his top team. Continue reading