Thursday

Thousands of Jobs Hang On African Textile Trade Deal - Daniel Fisher - Full Disclosure - Forbes

One of the great things about Internet journalism is the dialogue it fosters among writers, readers and sources. At its best, the readers become sources and inform the writer with details he didn't know when he set fingers to keyboard.

After publishing our list of the World's Worst Economies — a feature that predictably generates nastygrams from officials of the named countries — I got this email from a Washington consultant who knows all about the trade woes afflicting bottom-of-the-list Madagascar. Some of them stem from the country's ejection from the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which devastated that island nation's once-growing clothing industry. AGOA is a free-trade deal that gives Americans access to cheaper clothes, but more importantly generates jobs in African countries. It's up for renewal, but as Nathaniel Adams notes below, so far it's suffered from "benign neglect." That’s bad news for the tens of thousands of African clothing workers, most of them women, who depend on exports to the U.S. to eat. Full disclosure: Adams works for the Whitaker Group, whose founder, Rosa Whitaker, helped design AGOA while she was at the State Dept. Whitaker represents Lesotho in the U.S. but no clothing importers.

[Continue there: Thousands of Jobs Hang On African Textile Trade Deal - Daniel Fisher - Full Disclosure - Forbes]