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Ethiopia

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In November, the United States announced that Ethiopia, Guinea and Mali would be terminated from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (“AGOA”) trade preference program, unless they took urgent action to meet eligibility criteria by 1 January 2022. AGOA eligibility requirements include, among other things, that countries must follow the rule of law and implement economic policies that reduce poverty and combat corruption and bribery. Countries must also protect internationally recognized human and worker rights, and must not engage in activities that undermine national security interests.

On November 1, 2021, the US Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls issued a final rule amending entries for Ethiopia and Eritrea in the International Traffic in Arms Regulations. These changes supplement the sanctions imposed on both countries under Executive Order 14046, “Imposing Sanctions on Certain Persons With Respect to the Humanitarian and Human Rights Crisis in Ethiopia,” which was signed by President Biden in September 2021.

On September 17, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order 14046, “Imposing Sanctions on Certain Persons With Respect to the Humanitarian and Human Rights Crisis in Ethiopia” aimed at addressing the widespread humanitarian conflict in northern Ethiopia. Both the White House and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken also released statements calling for ceasefire negotiations to begin to find a political solution to the ongoing conflict in the region and a sanctions scheme to target individuals and groups responsible for violence, unrest, human rights abuses and the obstruction of humanitarian efforts.