WITHDREW: US under President Donald Trump

The United States government has written to the International Coffee Organization (ICO) that it is withdrawing from an agreement signed in 2007, an international commodity agreement between coffee producing and consuming countries, aimed at strengthening the global coffee sector.

Uganda, the second largest exporter of coffee is a member of ICO and a signatory to the agreement.

Mr José Sette, Executive Director of the ICO, the intergovernmental organization responsible for administering the Agreement, expressed regret for the US Government’s decision to withdraw, but also expressed confidence that relations between the ICO and the American coffee community would continue to be close.

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“The private sector in the US, represented by the National Coffee Association and the Specialty Coffee Association, is very supportive of the ICO and we will continue to work closely with both associations. With regard to the US Government, a previous US administration took the decision to withdraw from the International Coffee Agreement and later returned,” ICO’s Tuesday press release quoted Sette as saying.

“We hope that the international coffee community will once again see the US Government back among our membership and join us in continuing to tackle the complex challenges facing the world coffee sector in which 25 million producers, mostly smallholders, and over 125 million people directly or indirectly depend on coffee for their livelihood,” he says.

According to the Rules of the Organization, the withdrawal of the United States as a signatory of the International Coffee Agreement 2007 takes effect on 3 June 2018.

The press release however does not give the reasons why the US has decided to withdraw from the agreement. However, ever since coming to power, US President Donald Trump is on campaign to delink his country from agreements that he feels do not have economic sense to its citizens.

ICO is the main intergovernmental organization for coffee, bringing together exporting and importing Governments to tackle the challenges facing the world coffee sector through international cooperation. Our Members represent the Governments of 98% of the world’s coffee producing countries and 83% of consuming countries.

The International Coffee Agreement is an international commodity agreement between coffee producing and consuming countries to strengthen the global coffee sector and promote its sustainable expansion in a market- based environment for the betterment of all participants.

According to the press release, ICO the controlling body of the Agreement, represents most coffee producing and consuming countries. The current 2007 agreement has 44 exporting Members and seven importing members (the European Union represents all its member States as one Member).

The original agreement was signed in 1962 for a five-year period, and since then there have been six subsequent agreements in 1968, 1976, 1983, 1994, 2001 and 2007.