President Yoweri Museveni has asked European Union Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to address the concerns raised by East African Community (EAC) member states on the Economic Partnership Agreements.
Leading a delegation of EA trade ministers to the meeting at the EU headquarters in Brussels, President Museveni, who is also Chairperson of the EAC, noted that the bloc sought several clarifications before making a final decision on the EPAs.
Key among the concerns is the question of strategic industrial development, the denunciation process, development agenda, the rendezvous, joint declaration and domestic support.
On strategic industrial development, President Museveni noted that once the trade pact is signed, up-to 65% of imports (mainly machinery and raw materials for industrialization) from the EU to EAC will come in at zero rate, which is similar to a current policy position East Africa already has with the EU.
President Museveni said that also of concern to EAC, is the clause that commits the EU to remove export subsidies on EAC-destined exports only but does not address other forms of domestic support that equally distort the market.