An ethical evaluation of trade controls policy in Uganda: Case of East African Community Customs Union
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The study was an Evaluation of Trade Policies in Uganda: Case of East African Community Customs Union. An attempt was made to examine the extent to which exchange of resources in Uganda would be affected by the EAC Customs Union in view of the existing Trade Controls Policy. The focus was on three objectives namely; to establish the usefulness of Trade Policies in Uganda, to understand the extent to which the EAC Customs Union used the ideas of the trade policies of Uganda and to assess ethics in the process of implementing Trade Controls Policy in Uganda. The respondents to the study included the Parliamentarians, opinion leaders, traders, and academicians, officials from the MTTI, Policy analysts, researchers and manufacturers. This helped to obtain a wider perspective regarding trade policies in view of the EAC customs union. A stratified simple random sampling technique was used to select respondents from Kampala city Centre, Kawempe, Nakawa, Mukono and Entebbe. Ethical issues are very critical in trade policy designs, though often given less attention. An evaluation of trade policies in Uganda was made, focusing on the National Trade Policy 2007 in view of the EAC Customs Union to give attention to an ethical requisite. The field findings indicated that a lot still needs to be done on Uganda’s trade policies before fully joining the EAC Customs Union. It was further affirmed that trade in Uganda continue to take undefined courses in spite of the existance of trade policies and that such policies are least known. There was an overwhelming suupport of the EAC Customs Union if only precaution can be made to give Uganda a favourable position where her citizens are not exposed to exploitation. Uganda has had deficit trading with most of the member states in the EAC. If care is not taken, the deficit approach can be carried into the Customs Union and in the end it will be meaningless. The major conclusions and recommendations of the study point to a need for Uganda to establish a strong directorate of trade as the country joins the EAC Customs Union. Others were that property rights should be more respected amongst the EAC member states and that trade practices in Uganda should take clearer and well defined directions. Further, it was concluded that Uganda should be more concerned with the competitiveness of her own products so that they are preferred locally to some imported products.