Beyond the Rhetoric

Chinese trade hustles in Africa and beyond

By Harry C. Alford & Kay DeBow | 1/6/2020, 10:28 a.m.

China is currently on its way to establishing more than 700 new coal mines in Africa. One hundred percent of that new coal is destined for the United States – duty free under AGOA.  Brazenly, China refuses to use the newest technology in its mining techniques. Its low-tech methods are extremely harmful to our environment, but no one seems to care about the environment in Africa even though the whole world is affected.

China and coal aren’t the only examples of AGOA abuse. Let’s look at the nation of Germany and its production of the expensive automobile – the BMW brand.  Germany built a BMW assembly plant in South Africa for the sole purpose of shipping the finished product to the United States duty free under the AGOA program.  Where is our outrage!!

Here’s a “doozie” for you. The island nation of Mauritius sits in the Indian Ocean about a thousand miles from the coast of East Africa.  Lobbyists for the nation convinced members of our Congressional Black Caucus to allow Mauritius membership into the AGOA program.  Thus, interests from India are shipping finished products to the United States via the Port of Mauritius duty free!

Why do we let them get away with this abuse? We could take you to Ghana and show you tomatoes coming in by shiploads from China.  From there a company using Chinese equipment transforms the tomatoes into cans of tomato paste to be sold to U. S. grocery stores under the AGOA program.  Green beans and other items are hustled in the same manner. Why don’t they farm these products in Africa instead of being exploited by China?

The AGOA program is useless to the continent of Africa. China just loves it.

Harry C. Alford is the co-founder, president/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce®.  Kay DeBow is the co-founder, executive vice president of the Chamber. Website: www.nationalbcc.org Emails:  halford@nationalbcc.org  kdebow@nationalbcc.org