Uganda’s anti-gay bill spurs fallout with the US and a loss of Ush741 billion ($200 million)

US businesses halt textile purchases from Uganda due to the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023.President Museveni of Uganda downplays the impact, stating that the textile sales outweighed the losses.The US Embassy has warned of economic repercussions as multinational companies express concerns over anti-gay legislation.

Due to the passing of Uganda’s anti-gay bill, several US companies covered by the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (Agoa) have ceased doing business with Uganda.

Specifically, several US companies under the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (Agoa) have halted textile purchases from Uganda.

President Yoweri Museveni made this announcement at the passing-out ceremony for Uganda Prisons Service officials on Sunday in Kampala’s Kololo Ceremonial Grounds.

According to a report seen in the East African, an East African news publication, The president of Uganda stated, “The homosexuals in the US are interfering with our export of textiles. Some of the orders have been cancelled there.”

“But I am not concerned about that because the money you have been squandering with the second-hand clothes, importing other people’s fabrics, is much more than what we are going to earn from the sales to the US,” he added.

Following reports of increased recruitment of Ugandans by gay groups, especially students, Parliament, urged on by religious leaders and constituents, passed the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 in early May.

President Museveni signed it into law weeks later, prompting protests and condemnation from Western capitals, including Washington, with several governments considering actions.

In response, President Joe Biden ordered a review of US relations with Uganda, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken stating that Uganda’s eligibility for Agoa was under reconsideration.

So far, the Biden administration has only imposed visa restrictions on the Speaker of Parliament, Ms. Anita Among.

Agoa is a US government project started in 2000 that allows qualifying nations, such as Uganda, to export textiles and agricultural products to the US without any tariffs or quotas.

In exchange, the recipient nations open their markets to used clothing, primarily from the US.

Under the trade incentive, Uganda’s yearly exports were worth $200 million (Ush741 billion).

The public affairs adviser at the US Embassy in Kampala, Ms. Ellen Masi, said that Washington had made it plain that the passage of the anti-gay bill would have an impact on Uganda’s economic prospects.

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