TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Nigeria: 'US Extends AGOA to 2015'

Friday, 16 July 2004

Source: The Nation (Nairobi)

The good news for Kenya and other African countries from President George Bush is that the US has agreed to extend its concessionary trade terms for apparel manufacturers for another seven years.

Initially, the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which came into effect four years, was to end in 2008. But now it will extend to 2015. Agoa allows African states to sell textile products duty-free to the US.

Until its enactment, accessing the American market, arguably one of the most expansive of the world's retail outlets, was impossible. What of restrictive trade rules and fiercely competitive products that, despite their high quality, sold at affordable rates because of a favourable production environment.

Since the legislation of the Agoa Act, Kenya has had reason to smile. Apparel manufacturers have reaped handsomely and, in turn, expanded their production and created more job opportunities. The growth of the Export Promotion Zones (EPZ) has been enhanced to some degree by opening American markets.

Extension of the concessionary trade terms, therefore, provides more and new opportunities for scaling up the gains. And with that comes the challenge: What can we do to maximise the opportunities?

One, we need to expand the existing EPZ centres and set up new ones in other parts of the country, especially in western Kenya, a place that has traditionally been known for cotton growing.

Secondly, efforts have to be made to revive cotton production, the main raw material for apparel, because there will be increased demand for it. With that also comes the need to revive the collapsed cotton mills all over the country.

Thirdly, the expansion of EPZ should be done with diligence, recognising the inherent labour and human rights issues. What we have seen in the past is a likelihood of putting too much attention to production at the cost of human rights and welfare issues.

In other words, the quest to meet the demands for an expanded American markets should not make us lose sight of the fundamental issues of life.



“AGOA Latest AGOA Trade Data on AGOA.info


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


Other regularly updated trade statistics on AGOA.info 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.