- African Growth and Opportunity Act
TRALAC - Trade Law Centre
You are here: Home/News/Article/Mauritius to Lobby Hard for AGOA Extension

Mauritius to Lobby Hard for AGOA Extension

Published date:
Monday, 18 July 2005

Mauritius would negotiate hard for an extension of preferential access for its textiles in the US market at US-Africa trade talks this week, officials said at the weekend.

The Indian Ocean island will lobby for the extension of an accord giving sub-Saharan African nations including Mauritius duty-free import status under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), a trade agreement between the US and African countries.

Under the pact, countries classified as least developed are permitted to import raw materials from countries not participating in the agreement, and still receive tax-free status in the US.

In the case of Mauritius, this concession on sourcing third country fabric expires on September 30, while for other countries it expires in 2007.

After the concession runs out, cloth would have to be imported from the US, where it is too expensive, or from other Agoa countries, which don't make enough of it. Now African producers tend to buy material cheaply from Asian countries.

"It is very important for the industry to obtain an extension of this derogation as it will provide a breathing space that is very much needed," said Maurice Vigier de la Tour, chairman of the Mauritius-US Business Association, who will attend the talks in Senegal from today until Wednesday.

"The newly born African textile and garment industry cannot compete with China, India or Pakistan.

"Thousands of jobs have been lost in Mauritius, Lesotho and Kenya. We need a preferential treatment for a longer time," Vigier de la Tour said.

Sub-Saharan African states have seen their textile industries grow sharply in the past five years due to Agoa, which provides the poor countries with duty- and quota-free access to the $11 trillion (R72 trillion) US market.

But that advantage is under threat due to a surge in textile imports from China and other Asian countries, which have increased exports to the US and Europe after the end of a global quota system on January 1.

“AGOA Latest AGOA Trade Data currently available on

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

Other regularly updated trade statistics on include: (click each link to view)

  • 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.

  • You are here: Home/News/Article/Mauritius to Lobby Hard for AGOA Extension