GREEN Party leader Peter Sinkamba says US President Donald Trump has wrong trade data for Zambia.
According to the official website of the Office of the United States Trade Representative, Executive Office of the President, Zambia is indicated as eligible to AGOA (Africa Growth Opportunity Act) this year and that it also qualifies for textile and apparel benefits.
It indicates that Zambia hosted the 10th Annual AGOA Forum in Lusaka in June 2011. On U.S. Zambia-Trade Facts, instead of talking about Zambia, the date instead talks about Zimbabwe.
“Zimbabwe is currently our 177th largest goods trading partner with $54 million in total (two way) goods trade during 2016. Goods exports totaled $30 million; goods imports totaled $23 million. The U.S. goods trade surplus with Zimbabwe was $7 million in 2016,” according to the data.
According to the Department of Commerce, U.S. exports of goods to Zimbabwe supported an estimated 2 hundred jobs in 2015 (latest data available).
The rest of the data (exports, Imports, trade balance, Investment) all relate to Zimbabwe.
This information can be obtained from https://ustr.gov/countries-regions/africa/southern-africa/zambia.
But Sinkamba stated in a statement yesterday that such inaccurate data was clear that incompetent people were running the country.
“As the Green party, we are worried that President Donald Trump has wrong trade data for Zambia. As will be noted on the official website for the Executive Office of the President of the United States of America, the data reflecting Zambia is for Zimbabwe. This development is extremely worrisome to us as the Green party because it is evidence we have incompetent people running the country. Why should such a grave mistake happen when the country has a trade attache in the USA? Why should it happen when President Edgar Lungu has a special assistant in charge of economics and trade? Why should such a farce happen when we have a fully-fledged Ministry of Commerce and Trade with competent staff who should on a daily basis monitor global trade trends and accordingly advise government?” Sinkamba asked.
“If I were in-charge of the country, a number of officials at State House, Zambian Embassy in Washington DC, and at the Ministry of Commerce and Trade would have been fired as a consequence. It is shocking that despite the current threats to multilateralism and global trade through Trump’s ‘America First’ and unilateral breach of WTO rules on trade tariffs, the PF government has paid a blind eye to Zambia’s trade relationship, and trade data with the US. We urge the PF government to come out of slumber and develop a Trump strategy before he directs his ‘America First’ arsenals towards our direction. If he can, with impunity embark on a trade war with Canada and EU, who traditionally are America’s closest allies, would he really hesitate to withdraw the assistance to Zambia?”
He stated that the United States assistance, which was estimated at US$250 million per year, focuses on improving health with a particular focus on women and vulnerable children; reducing the incidence and impact of HIV/AIDS and other illnesses; increasing agriculture-led economic development to reduce rural poverty, food insecurity, and malnutrition.
Sinkamba stated that mitigating climate change and wildlife trafficking; raising education quality and learner reading performance; and advancing civil society, governance, and human rights were also the US’ assistance to Zambia.
He stated that the US also supports the Zambian government’s efforts to root out corruption.
“Zambia is a beneficiary of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and a variety of technical assistance and other support that is managed by the Department of State, US Agency for International Development, Millennium Challenge Account (MCA), Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, and other agencies. The bulk of US assistance to Zambia is provided through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), in support of the fight against HIV/AIDS,” Sinkamba stated.
“We once again urge President Edgar Lungu, and his PF government, to promptly develop a ‘Plan B’ strategy to confront the reality of Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ policy otherwise sooner rather than later, our great country may suffer grave consequences. Yesterday (Saturday) at the G7 Meeting in Canada, Trump made it clearer than ever before: ‘We’re like the piggy bank that everybody’s robbing. And that ends’, he said. The man can never be any clearer than this. Those with ears have heard.”