Financial News

US companies pause textile purchases from Uganda over anti-gay law


During a ceremony at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds in Kampala, Museveni stated, “The homosexuals in the US are interfering with our export of textiles, and some orders have been cancelled there.”

However, Museveni downplayed these concerns, saying, “I am not concerned about that because the money spent on second-hand clothes, importing other people’s fabrics, is much greater than what we would earn from US sales.”

Agoa, initiated by the US government in 2000, allows eligible countries like Uganda to export textiles and agricultural products to the US without tariffs or quotas.

In exchange, these countries open their markets to second-hand clothes, primarily from the US. Uganda’s annual exports under Agoa had reached a value of $200 million (Ush741 billion).

Following reports of increased recruitment of Ugandans by gay groups, especially students, Parliament, urged on by religious leaders and constituents, passed the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 in early May.

President Museveni signed it into law weeks later, prompting protests and condemnation from Western capitals, including Washington, with several governments considering actions.

In response, President Joe Biden ordered a review of US relations with Uganda, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken stating that Uganda’s eligibility for Agoa was under reconsideration.

So far, the Biden administration has only imposed visa restrictions on the Speaker of Parliament, Ms. Anita Among.