November 28, 2020

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Trump sucked into Kenya plastic ban row

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Trump sucked into Kenya plastic ban row


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US President Donald Trump. AFP Photograph

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Summary

  • Confronted with a thinning market for fossil fuels, oil majors have little by little turned to plastics as an alternative income stream with their eyes mainly on Africa.
  • Paperwork clearly show that Kenya is among nations around the world focused for plastic exports trade by the American Chemistry Council—an sector team representing he world’s biggest chemical makers and fossil fuel makers.
  • Amid protests from environmental lobbies, the US Congress members urged President Trump not to heed phone calls by the American oil and chemical firms.

President Donald Trump has been sucked into a row involving users of the US Congress and major oil organizations that are pushing to have Kenya fall its rigid limits on plastics in the ongoing bilateral trade talks with Washington.

In a letter to Mr Trump, some 62 customers of the US Congress urged the US govt to resist any actions that would undermine Kenya’s efforts to prohibit the importation and consumption of solitary-use plastics and other pollutants amid fears about wellbeing and setting protection.

“The United States need to make no try to undermine Kenya’s, or any other creating nations, domestic regulation or regional arrangement created to meaningfully defend the overall health and ecosystem of its individuals this sort of as bans on plastic bags and restrictions on solitary-use plastics” the lawmakers claimed in the Oct 1 letter.

Confronted with a thinning market for fossil fuels, oil majors have step by step turned to plastics as an choice revenue stream with their eyes largely on Africa.

Documents clearly show that Kenya is among nations targeted for plastic exports trade by the American Chemistry Council—an market team representing he world’s major chemical makers and fossil gasoline makers.

“We anticipate that Kenya could provide in the foreseeable future as a hub for giving US-produced substances and plastics to other marketplaces in Africa,“ the council’s director for intercontinental trade, Ed Brzytwa, mentioned in an April 28 letter to the US Trade Agent.

The oil majors want Kenya’s limits on plastics reviewed in the ongoing negotiations for cost-free trade offer, which would replace the existing regime beneath the Africa Expansion and Chance Act (Agoa). Agoa makes it possible for sub-Saharan African international locations to export thousands of products to the US without tariffs or quotas until finally 2025.

Amid protests from environmental lobbies, the US Congress associates urged President Trump not to heed phone calls by the American oil and chemical companies.

“Dear Mr. President: As you negotiate a trade offer involving the United States and Kenya, we publish to specific our robust opposition to attempts to weaken Kenya’s constraints on importation or intake of single-use plastic and other products liable for plastic air pollution,” the lawmakers claimed.

“The United States’ answer to the plastic air pollution crisis cannot be to just open far more markets overseas for plastic products and solutions and uncover locations to send out growing quantities of plastic waste. This is absolutely at odds with the global policy option to prevent plastic pollution — not to mention local weather transform.”

Kenya in 2017 imposed what was hailed as the world’s strictest ban on the use, manufacturing and import of plastic bags, inspiring related bans in other African nations around the world whose streets, waterways and even trees have extensive been choked with the tattered bags.

Among added countries and regions that have taken motion against the use of plastic bags are China, Bangladesh, the US Condition of California, Denmark, Hong Kong, Ireland, South Africa, Rwanda, Tanzania and the United Kingdom.