President Yoweri Museveni says a number of US companies under the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (Agoa) have stopped buying textile from Uganda over the enactment of the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023.
Mr Museveni said the companies have attributed their action to the LGBTQ laws that the country passed this year.
The move may have negative effects to Uganda’s economy as the market access under Agoa earns the landlocked country at least $200 million annually, according to government data.
Mr Museveni, who revealed that some orders had been cancelled, said he would not be moved by that decision.
“The homosexuals in the US are interfering with our export of textiles. Some of the orders have been cancelled there,” Mr Museveni is quoted by the Daily Monitor.
“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.
Trade under Agoa allows least developed countries in Africa to export textile and farm produce to the US under duty and quota-free arrangement.
Following the enactment of the law this year, the US and other Western countries warned Uganda of dire consequences.
World Bank has already withdrawn its support for Uganda which could leave the landlocked country with a huge funding gap.
The World Bank said last month it would pause new lending to Uganda after concluding that the new law contradicts the bank’s values.
Uganda had in early May enacted Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 which President Museveni signed into law weeks later.
Washington ordered a review of US relations with Uganda, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken having stated that Uganda’s eligibility for Agoa was being reconsidered.
Key Ugandan figures such as the speaker of Uganda’s Parliament Anita Among, have been slapped with the US visa restriction.