TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Automotive Sector

AGOA forms one of the cornerstones of African automotive sector exports to the United States. Approximately 90 tariff lines (at the HS8 level) falling within Chapter 87 (automotives and parts) are covered by the AGOA legislation.

Automotive sector production and exports form part of a capital-intensive industry, and to date virtually all exports from this sector under AGOA are exported from South Africa. However, other countries provide some of the inputs to the South African sector, for example Botswana (also an AGOA beneficiary) which supplies premium quality leather that is used for OEM car seats during vehicle manufacture.

Within the auto sector export category, passenger vehicle account for the bulk of exports to the US from Africa, reaching $1.5 billion (out of $1.6 billion in total sector exports) during 2016 (see data tables alongside). These exports directly benefited from AGOA and were granted duty-free access to the US. Less than 2% of automotive sector exports from AGOA beneficiaries (South Africa) did not claim any specific duty preferences. Parts and accessories of motor vehicles accounted for $62 million worth of exports during 2016, of which $42 million was shipped under the GSP, $1 million under AGOA (non-GSP) and $18 million without preference.