- African Growth and Opportunity Act
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You are here: Home/News/Article/AGOA III - USTR Zoellick Urges Not to Stall Africa Trade Bill

AGOA III - USTR Zoellick Urges Not to Stall Africa Trade Bill

Published date:
Friday, 18 June 2004

Although the United States congress has voted for the extension of Africa Growth and Opportunity (AGOA 3) to 2015, the Bill still has to go through senate who may veto it.

Speaking in an interview, spokesman for the Southern African Global Competitiveness Hub in Gaborone, Erran Prisely said that though the vote is big news, the party is not yet over as the bill has to pass through the senate who may reject it.

"It is big news and the bipartisan support is a good sign," Prisely said on Wednesday.

On Monday the house voted to extend a trade pact that offers duty-free treatment on some goods and other trade benefits to developing countries of sub-Saharan Africa, that include Botswana.

According to media reports in the US, the legislation, which was approved by voice vote, would prolong the life of AGOA, which expires in September, by seven more years.

However, Prisely said that even though they support AGOA - which has contributed tremendously to the export sector of the country - they cannot advise senate on what to do.

"We support AGOA, it has been a great programme for the past three years and there has been great growth in export in the region," Prisely said. AGOA, which became operational in the country in 1999, saw the country's exports to the US in 2002, valued at $4.6 million with the projection for 2003 being $10.5 million. The figures for apparel exports was valued at $1.2 million in 2002, $1.9 million in 2003 and for 2004 it is expected to be $2.4 million.

The figures were however, lower than other countries in the region, such as Lesotho, which also exports to the American market. The low turnover was attributed to the AGOA legislation, which was delayed, and only signed in 2002.

The AGOA legislation, which was signed in 2000 granted apparel benefits to Botswana and Namibia and extended duty and quota free to knit-to-shape apparel, but President George Bush only made it a law in 2002.

Some of the local apparel companies that would benefit from an extension include Caratex Botswana, which reported earnings of over $6 million (P30 million) in 2003, and Selibe Phikwe based companies like Rising Sun and Dinesh Textiles.

Some of the countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region that qualify to export to the greater US market are Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland because of their democratic principles.

“AGOA Latest AGOA Trade Data on

Click here to view a sector profile of Botswana’s bilateral trade with the United States, disaggregated by total exports and imports, AGOA exports and GSP exports.

Other regularly updated trade statistics on include:

  • AGOA-beneficiary Countries’ AGOA and GSP Trade Aggregates

  • AGOA Trade by Industry Sector

  • Apparel Trade under AGOA’s Wearing Apparel Provisions

  • Latest Apparel Quotas under AGOA

  • Bilateral Trade Data for all AGOA-eligible countries individually.

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