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UK to Cut Taxes on Imports from Africa

The UK has launched a scheme to cut tariffs on hundreds of products from some of the world’s poorest countries to try to boost trade links. The preferential terms, which come into effect early next year, will affect products ranging from food to textiles. Under the Developing Countries Trading Scheme, 99% of goods imported from Africa will be duty-free. Goods such as clothes, shoes and foods not widely produced in the UK will benefit from lower or zero tariffs. But goods and services from Africa make up just a tiny share of the UK’s imports, accounting for 2.5% of the total goods imported into Britain. Only eight nations from sub-Saharan Africa mostly former colonies count the UK in their top 10 export destinations, including Rwanda, Mauritius, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Mozambique, Kenya and South Africa. Britain has been long criticized for undervaluing trade with Africa. The amount of products Britain sends to Africa isn’t just small, it’s also shrinking. Ministers say the scheme helps to fulfil the post-Brexit pledge to take back control of the country’s trade policy while also reducing dependence on aid.