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Monday, 27 February 2017

Tanzania demands study on impact of EU trade deal

Tanzania wants a study conducted on the impact of the Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union on the East African Community, ahead of the Summit of Heads of State scheduled for next month. The demand reiterates Tanzania's position that Kenya and Rwanda should not have signed the EPA last year and, given the inadequate time before the summit, there won't be much progress on the matter before April 1, when the EU expects the EAC to sign up to the accord. In an EAC Sectoral Council of Ministers' meeting on trade, industry, finance and investment held in Arusha this month, Tanzania demanded that the EAC Secretariat conduct an analysis on the effects of the EPA on the Community. This, Dar es Salaam said, would bring about regional perspectives on the concerns they have raised with Burundi. "The results will guide the ministers' and presidents' decision on the EPA in the next summit or even at a later stage. Signing a bad EPA will set a bad precedent, which will compromise the region's interests in subsequent Free Trade Area negotiations," said Tanzania in the sectoral council's meeting report. Tanzania further asked: "What is the rationale of Burundi signing the EPA while the EU has imposed an embargo on its exports? How will EAC partner states avoid such scenarios of the EU unilaterally putting embargoes on trade under the EPA while Article 136 of the EPA still refers to the same agreement that the EU has used to put an embargo on Burundi. How will the EAC partner states operationalise the free movement of goods while there is no free circulation of goods in the region and no refund mechanism for Customs duty paid to another partner state?"

Source: allafrica.com