U.S. to withdraw from global coffee agreement

The United States has notified the International Coffee Organization (ICO) that it is withdrawing from the International Coffee Agreement 2007, an international commodity agreement between coffee producing and consuming countries, the ICO said in a statement.

The withdrawal from the agreement whose objective is to strengthen the global coffee sector and promote its sustainable expansion, comes at a time when Washington is in the midst of a trade differences with China and some other countries.

José Sette, Executive Director of the ICO, the intergovernmental organisation responsible for administering the Agreement, expressed regret for the US Government’s decision to withdraw.

“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,” he said in the statement.

A previous US administration too took the decision to withdraw from the International Coffee Agreement and later returned.

“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,” Sette said.

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 ICO is the main intergovernmental organisation for coffee, bringing together exporting and importing governments to tackle the challenges facing the world coffee sector through international cooperation.

The ICO’s members represent the governments of 98% of the world’s coffee producing countries and 83% of consuming countries.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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