TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

US begins AGOA eligibility review

Tuesday, 02 July 2019

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]. 

 

Related News

AGOA eligibility reviews 2019: Selected extracts from submissions

AGOA eligibility reviews 2019: Selected extracts from submissions

The public hearing, US Trade and Investment in Sub-Saharan Africa: recent trends and new developments, takes place today, 24 July, in Washington. The witness list can be accessed here . For background on the Hearing, see the USITC Federal Register Notice. Background report:   U.S. trade and investment with Sub Saharan Africa: Recent...

24 July, 2019
[Updated] Annual review of country eligibility for benefits under the AGOA for 2020

[Updated] Annual review of country eligibility for benefits under the AGOA for 2020

  Notice of initiation of review, public hearing, and request for comments. Download the Notice HERE.   See the submissions as they become available HERE. Summary: The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is announcing the initiation of the annual review of the eligibility of the sub-Saharan African countries to receive the benefits of the African...

27 June, 2019
US to end trade benefits for Mauritania over forced labour

US to end trade benefits for Mauritania over forced labour

President Donald Trump said the United States will revoke Mauritania’s preferred trade status in January because of its failure to make progress on human rights – namely, slavery. The West African nation will no longer be eligible for benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which affects market access, investment, and reduced or eliminated tariffs...

03 November, 2018
Presidential Proclamation regarding Rwanda's AGOA eligibility

Presidential Proclamation regarding Rwanda's AGOA eligibility

  Presidential Proclamation to Take Certain Actions Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act and For Other Purposes  Issued on: July 30, 2018 1.  In Proclamation 7350 of October 2, 2000, the President designated the Republic of Rwanda (“Rwanda”) as a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country for purposes of section 506A(a)(1) of...

31 July, 2018