US: Funding row stalls AGOA and Burma bills
A row over funding for the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) has temporarily halted several important pieces of trade legislation for apparel and textile firms - including the renewal of the US import ban on Burma.
Among the legislative items that headed to the Senate last week were "critical fixes" to renew third-country fabric provision under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), and plans to modify some of the textile rule of origin provisions under the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA).
An extension to the import ban that has been in place since 2003 to prevent goods from Burma entering the US market was also part of the same bill.
The legislation had already been approved by the US Senate Finance Committee earlier this month - and its swift passage was key to preventing the expiry of the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act (BFDA) and the AGOA third-country fabric provision in September.
US Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate was unable to come to an agreement on the annual renewal of the BFDA despite offers to pass it as a standalone measure.
However, even without the BFDA, authority for the Burma import ban remains in force under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA).
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