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Overview of the Used Clothing Market in East Africa: Analysis of Determinants and Implications

Published on August 21, 2017

Used_Clothing_Report.JPGOverview of the Used Clothing Market in East Africa: Analysis of Determinants and Implications. In March 2016, the East African Community (EAC) Heads of State issued a Joint Communiqué from the 17th Ordinary Summit, expressing their intent to progressively phase out importation of used clothing as a means to support the region’s textile and apparel industry.* A U.S. trade association reacted to these measures by requesting an out-of-cycle review (OCR) of the eligibility of the EAC Partner States for the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) privileges, citing both loss of American jobs as well as introduction of new trade barriers in contravention of AGOA provisions.

The following is a top level examination of some of the determinants and implications of the used clothing market in East Africa, including an analysis of used clothing import trends in the EAC; an assessment of the economic significance of used clothing to both the U.S. and EAC; a review of EAC import substitution assumptions; and some modeling of long-term outcomes if EAC Partner States maintain their current used clothing import policies. The results provided are intended to aid data-driven policy decisions and negotiations going forward.