TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

2006 AGOA Report Sent to US Congress

Friday, 26 May 2006

Source: Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

The 2006 Comprehensive Report on US Trade and Investment Policy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa and Implementation of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) has been submitted to the US congress. The report compiled by the US Trade Representative notes that two-way trade between the US and sub-Saharan African countries has increased 115% since AGOA's launch in 2000.

It also describes the wide array of US programs that are assisting African countries to bolster economic growth and development through trade. "AGOA helps Africans use the power of trade to grow their economies and reduce poverty," said US Trade Representative Rob Portman in a statement. " It also supports the efforts of those African countries undertaking difficult economic and political reforms. As these countries open their economies and increase their capacity to trade, opportunities are also arising for American exports to Africa." "The United States recognizes how aid for trade helps developing countries participate more fully in the global trading system," Portman noted. "That's why we committed $199 million to trade capacity building activities in sub-Saharan Africa last year."

The annual report to Congress provides an overview of the US trade and investment relationship with sub-Saharan African countries and describes trade capacity building and other technical assistance programmes undertaken in support of AGOA objectives. It also summarises developments in sub-Saharan African countries related to AGOA's eligibility criteria. 37 sub-Saharan African countries are eligible for benefits under AGOA, which provides them with duty-free access to the US market for virtually all products. The statement said the United States and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) remained committed to concluding a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA). In April, the US and SACU agreed to establish a framework that would form the basis for pursuing the FTA over a longer term, develop a joint work programme to address a broad range of FTA and other related issues, and seek to conclude concrete trade- and investment-enhancing agreements.

Download the report from AGOA.info's archives here.