New US ambassador vows to promote open trade dialogue

Peter Vrooman, the new US Ambassador to Rwanda yesterday presented his credentials to President Paul Kagame at Village Urugwiro, after which he committed to enhance longstanding relations between the two countries.

The new envoy, who takes over from Erica Barks-Ruggles whose tour of duty ended after three years, told the press that he had made a commitment to President Kagame.

Vrooman who was accompanied by his deputy chief of mission, Richard C. Michaels, said that he will put more focus on peacekeeping, supporting the youth, as well as promoting private sector investments.

Trade issues

Recently, the US government announced that it would suspend duty-free status on Rwandan apparel products under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

This was done following the decision by East African countries to progressively phase out the use of used clothes in the region to among other reasons help local industries grow.

Asked about the ultimate stand by his government in regard to the issue, the new ambassador said; “each country has its sovereign decision when it comes to trade. I hope to learn from my tenure in Rwanda on what the challenges and opportunities are. I also look forward to having an open dialogue with ministries here on this issue,” he noted.



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