CAIRO – Activists are targeting Disney and other brands over links to a contentious scheme that allows Egyptian manufacturers to export garments to the US tax-free so long as Israeli materials are used.
The quietly promoted programme, known as Qualifying Industrial Zones (QIZ), was enacted by the US Congress in 1996 in an effort to "normalise" relations between Israel, Egypt and Jordan, through economic cooperation.
Through QIZs, Israeli manufacturers supply at least 10.5 percent of products used in a garment. Then Egyptian factory workers in 705 QIZ-certified factories sew the final product which is exported to the US and exempted from taxes of between 5 and 40 percent, but typically at a 15 percent average.
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Photograph by Paul Cochrane