TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

US Punts Agoa as Development Tool

Friday, 12 September 2003

Source: Engineering News

The US government claims that the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), a trade programme that lowers barriers to entry for African products into the giant US market, is evidence of its commitment to development through trade.

"Agoa shows the power of trade to lift people out of poverty,” said President Goerge W Bush on January this year.

In a release submitted yesterday to coincide with trade negotiations taking place in Cancun, Mexico, the US government reported that US imports under Agoa grew to $9-billion in 2002, a 10% increase over 2001.

In addition, African textile and apparel imports more than doubled, transportation equipment imports expanded by 81%, and imports of agricultural products grew by 38%.

The US claimed that the programme continued to foster new trade and investment opportunities, create jobs, and promote economic development.

Since its implementation, the US calculates that Agoa-related trade and investment had created more than 190 000 African jobs and spurred investments worth more than $340-million.

At the last Agoa forum meeting in Mauritius, President Bush pledged to work with the US Congress to extend Agoa beyond 2008, adding that 'Agoa III' legislation is under consideration.