February 16, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The secretary general of Gum Arabic Council (GAC), Abdel-Magid Abdel-Gadir, has disclosed that Sudan exported 42 tonnes of gum arabic to the United States in 2013 yielding $103 million.
- Gum Arabic
He predicted the total exports of gum arabic would reach 55 tonnes by the end of 2014, adding that the US continued to import gum arabic from Sudan indirectly.
Sudan has been on the US blacklist of states sponsoring terrorism since 1993 on allegations of harboring Islamist militants despite reports of Sudan being a cooperative intelligence partner of Washington in the "war on terror".
Sudan is also subject to comprehensive economic sanctions since 1997 over terrorism charges as well as human right abuses. Further sanctions, particularly on weapons, have been imposed since the 2003 outbreak of violence in the western Darfur region.
In 2010 however, the US announced it was easing sanctions on agriculture equipment and services which allowed half a dozen companies to obtain export licenses.
Last August, Sudan’s former foreign ministry undersecretary, Rahmatallah Mohamed Osman, said that US economic sanctions on Sudan contain some loopholes which could be exploited to boost the economy.
Abdel-Gadir noted that several US companies bypassed the economic sanctions through issuing judicial decisions from states allowing agricultural investment in Sudan.
He further said Sudan managed to use the gum arabic issue to put pressure on the US to lift the sanctions, mentioning the importance of gum arabic and the continuous increase of demand for it in the US markets.
The US has excluded gum arabic from sanctions for the critical need of this commodity in nutritional and drug industry.