Donald Trump

President Donald J Trump of the United States has restored trade benefits to the Gambia under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

The decision was announced by the US Trade Representative’s Office hours after the Gambia and 127 other countries at the UN General Assembly gave a stinging rebuke to President Trump’s controversial decision to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel earlier this month.

The Trump administration had vowed before the vote to cut aid to countries that backed the UN resolution.

But as a member of AGOA, the Gambia will have duty-free access to the US on condition it meets certain statutory eligibility requirements, including eliminating barriers to US trade and investment and making progress toward political pluralism.

The Gambia lost its eligibility in 2015 due to human rights abuses and the deterioration of the rule of law during the regime of former President Yahya Jammeh.

However, the Trump administration said the new administration of President Adama Barrow has made progress in strengthening the rule of law, improving human rights and supporting political pluralism.