US apparel and footwear association calls for prioritising AGOA renewal at US-Africa Leaders Summit

US apparel and footwear association calls for prioritising AGOA renewal at US-Africa Leaders Summit
Published date:
Thursday, 15 December 2022

The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) and more than 20 organisations have appealed for long-term renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

The apparel industry of US, in a letter to President Joe Biden, urged the government to prioritise this request at the ongoing US-Africa Leaders Summit that will end on December 15, 2022.

The organisations emphasised on the timely renewal of AGOA for a 10-year period, so that it would be impactful for companies hoping to grow commitments towards a vertical, responsible, and competitive industry in Africa over the next dozen years, according to AAFA president and CEO Steve Lamar.

Steve Lamar said: "AGOA’s expiration date is less than three years away. September 2025 may sound like a distant date, it is actually no time at all for the continuity, certainty, and commitment needed for our industry's supply chains to grow and thrive in the region.

"We are also at a pivotal juncture to significantly enhance the work opportunities for a traditionally underserved population – African women."

“We view AGOA as a bridge to other trade agreements such as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the US-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership (STIP). For instance, the US-Kenya STIP will benefit both trading partners in many ways but must include both trade provisions and flexibilities that promote regionalisation. It is critical that Kenya may still draw upon the benefits from other AGOA countries, and vice versa, AGOA countries must still be able to partner with Kenya. In the end, regionalisation will encourage more countries in the region to pursue trade agreements with the U.S. and continue the growth in opportunities created by AGOA,” AAFA’s letter stated.

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