TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

US trade official lauds AGOA

Wednesday, 20 November 2002

Source: Business Day

Ooutgoing US trade representative for Africa Rosa Whitaker has lauded the implementation of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) as one of the proudest achievements of her four-year stay.

She said the greatest challenge for the US now was the need to build on Agoa's successes and to create a "greater urgency" about the economic need of sub-Saharan Africa.

Under AGOA, about 35 sub-Saharan nations are now eligible for the duty-free and quota-free entry of their exports into the US market. In addition, President George Bush signed the latest version, Agoa II, into law in August this year.

Whitaker said Agoa was not only expanding the US-African trade relationship but was also diversifying it away from a dependence on mineral and energy.

In the first six months of this year "nonfuel Agoa imports from Africa increased 155%, led by a 245% increase in apparel imports and a 131% increase in vehicles", she said.