TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

AGOA and GSP exports to the United States

In 2017, more than half of the combined goods exports to the United States from AGOA beneficiary countries qualified for duty-free market access under AGOA. Some of these previously qualified under the GSP (pre-AGOA) while the rest received duty-free status as a result of the AGOA legislation. Of the remaining trade - which does not fall under AGOA - some enjoys duty-free status by virtue of general US tariff policy with respect to imports from WTO Member States (duty-free under so called most-favoured-nation principles), while the remainder is subject to US import tariffs. Meanwhile, the single largest contribution towards AGOA-eligible trade consists of oil exports mainly from Angola and Nigeria, and to a lesser extent Chad and the Republic of Congo. Angola, South Africa and Nigeria are the largest exporters of AGOA goods overall. South Africa's exports in particular are relatively diversified across both extractive as well as manufacturing sectors.

In 2017, eleven AGOA beneficiary countries each exported more than $100 million worth of qualifying goods under AGOA/GSP to the United States. A further seven countries each exported more than $10 million in AGOA goods in the same year.

The attached data tables (see links in grey boxes alongside) provide details of AGOA beneficiary countries’ aggregate and AGOA exports to the United States over the past three years. The AGOA portion combines trade in categories that qualifies for GSP preferences along with the ‘New AGOA’ product categories - being those that only received duty-free status under AGOA. AGOA in effect also covers the GSP products particularly when the US GSP expires, as happens from time to time. 

AGOA preferences apply to approximately 6,500 tariff lines (at the HS8-digit level). This includes around 5,000 tariff lines covered by the United States Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) - currently extended through to end December 2020) plus a further approximately 1,500 tariff line items covered by the AGOA legislation. Apparel and textile sector tariff lines qualify once beneficiary countries have met the AGOA “apparel visa” requirements.