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The UK Reduces Tariffs for African-made Goods

The UK has launched a scheme to cut tariffs (customs duties) on hundreds of products from some developing countries to try to boost trade links. The preferential terms, which will come into effect early next year, will affect products ranging from food to textiles. Under the Developing Countries Trading Scheme, 99% of goods imported from Africa will be duty-free. Goods such as clothes, shoes, and foods not widely produced in the UK will also benefit from lower or zero tariffs. Presently goods and services from Africa make up just a tiny share of the UK’s imports – just 2.5% of the total goods imported into Britain. Only 8 nations from sub-Saharan Africa count the UK in their top 10 export destinations, including Rwanda, Mauritius, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Mozambique, Kenya, and SA. In addition, the amount of products Britain exports to Africa is shrinking and so it is hoped that increased imports will also result in increased exports. The UK government claims that the scheme helps to fulfill the post-Brexit pledge to “take back control of the country’s trade policy” while also reducing dependence on aid, under the slogan “’Trade, not aid’ (the economic idea that the best way to promote economic development is through promoting free trade and not providing direct foreign aid).

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