US begins AGOA eligibility review

US begins AGOA eligibility review

The annual review of the eligibility of sub-Saharan African countries to receive benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is now underway.

In a notice published to the Federal Register last week, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) said recommendations are being developed for President Trump on AGOA country eligibility for calendar year 2020.

Public comments are due no later than 3 September and information presented at a public hearing on 27 August will be considered in developing recommendations. Comments related to the AGOA child labor criteria may also be considered by the Department of Labor as it prepares its required report on that issue.

AGOA is a non-reciprocal trade agreement enacted in 2000 that provides duty-free treatment to US imports of certain products from eligible sub-Saharan African countries. AGOA intends to promote market-led economic growth and development in sub-Saharan African and deepen US trade and investment ties with the region.

In order to qualify for AGOA trade benefits, partner countries must meet certain statutory eligibility requirements, including making continual progress toward establishing internationally recognised worker rights, which includes a prohibition on the use of any form of forced or compulsory labour.

In 2018, US apparel imports from the AGOA region totalled US$1.24bn (up 18% from 2017), of which around US$1.21bn (or 98%) claimed the AGOA benefits.

For 2019, 39 countries are designated as beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zambia.

The following are not currently designated as beneficiary SSA countries: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (graduated from GSP), Eritrea, Mauritania, Seychelles (graduated from GSP), Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Zimbabwe.

arrow right Download the Federal Register notice at this LINK.

arrow right View related documents in the Eligibility Reviews section [ > Downloads / AGOA Annual Eligibility Reviews]. 

 

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