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Like before, a section of Ugandan traders closed their shops in April 2017 protesting against what they called undue competition from unscrupulous foreign Chinese traders who are engaged in similar business of importation and selling the very Chinese goods they trade in, and not what Uganda manufacturers. It seems they are seeking government hand that would enable them gain monopoly status in import trade. Perhaps its time to remind them and government as their partner in "crime" that they help a lot in paying taxes to the latter after deducting their profits or commissions, importation business remains a big threat to the domestic production infrastructure.

Both government and traders need to know that capital outflow as a result of over depending on imports exceed the one generated locally to finance state budgetary obligations. For example, trading economics data indicate that in year 2016, Uganda's import bill was $4.22bn (Ugx15 trillions) which is above the domestic revenue of Shs. 11,598 billion equivalent to 13.2% of GDP collected by government in the financial year 2015/16. That said, as a keen observer, I noticed our traders protests came barely after 20 hours when the newly president of US, Donald J Trump, had just signed an Executive order termed as "Buy American Hire American" as an economic strategy to discourage American traders and consumers from relying on imports, and if Mr. Trump succeeds, her country's GDP growth will improve with targeted increased production and consumption. As US embark on designing stringent mechanisms to check the vagaries of international trade, our traders and government seem unbothered. So far no American trader has taken to streets to denounce actions of Mr. Trump, which calls for patriotism that can be reflected in increasing consumption of American made products, as this would in turn mitigate challenges of international trade named above. And instead of doing it American style, our traders supported by the state seem to be suggesting Buy Chinese Ignore Ugandan to keep unemployment and imported inflation afloat. Because how can a leader of a rich nation with a GDP of $ 18.5tn and per capita of $ 56,748, be aggressively designing unpopular measures in the eyes of its international trade partners, but health for home economy, then Uganda with youth unemployment of83% be reluctant? Why can't we ''copy" and do the same?

 In 2016, Uganda and US suffered trade deficits of $683m (2.58% of GDP) and $347bn (1.83% of GDP) with China. It should be known that President Trump's move is meant to uplift and spur American GDP growth which has been troubled and stagnating at around 1.4% of GDP since recession of 2008. Annually, Uganda suffers high trade deficit of $1.2bn (4.52% of GDP) than US of $469.4bn (2.53% of GDP) considering the size of economy. Uganda, with the highest burden of trade imbalances remains less sensitive and concerned than US for unclear reasons. In a bid to reconcile Uganda's trade deficits problems with actions of our traders, one might forgive traders for their ignorance and selfishness but government won't be exonerated of her insensitivity and ignoring her duties.

Uganda being a poor nation with GDP of $ 26.5bn and per capita income of less than $1000, currently estimated at $736 (Trading Economics) should be more intolerant to imports and perhaps investing and encouraging private businesses to do the same in manufacturing of the largely imported goods and services. In the eyes of Ugandan consumer, it appears as if traders and government are in partnership to consistently defraud them since they often bear the final biggest burden of taxes and other problems. All this leaves citizens caring less about who actually imports or sells imports, this is why consumers won't join traders in protesting. Ugandan traders would attract sympathy of local consumers if they were protesting to protect their locally made products against foreign ones. If the status quo remains, consumers remain a venerable party and very soon we shall announce total boycott of imports
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that  we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic  and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."
---Theodore Roosevelt

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