TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Proposed Amendments to AGOA Legislation

Monday, 25 September 2006

Source: AGOA.info / US Library of Congress

US Democratic representatives have introduced a Bill known as “The Emergency Trade Program Extension Act of 2006” to extend the Generalized System of Preferences, the Andean trade preference program and African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) for another two years.

Below follows a transcript of the proposed legislation, with further explanatory notes provided by AGOA.info in parenthisis.

Emergency Trade Program Extension Act of 2006 (Introduced in House)

HR 6076 IH

109th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 6076

To extend the generalized system of preferences program under the Trade Act of 1974, to extend the Andean Trade Preference Act, to extend certain trade preferences under the African Growth and Opportunity Act, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES September 14, 2006

Mr. RANGEL (for himself, Mr. MCDERMOTT, Mr. CARDIN, Mr. LEVIN, and Mr. BECERRA) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means, and in addition to the Committee on Rules, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To extend the generalized system of preferences program under the Trade Act of 1974, to extend the Andean Trade Preference Act, to extend certain trade preferences under the African Growth and Opportunity Act, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Emergency Trade Program Extension Act of 2006'.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

Congress finds the following:

(1) Title V of the Trade Act of 1974 (relating to the generalized system of preferences), the Andean Trade Preference Act, and the African Growth and Opportunity Act have played an important role in advancing United States trade policy goals, providing important benefits to United States workers, farmers, and businesses, and helping to trigger sustainable economic growth in developing countries for more than 30 years.

(2) A key United States trade policy goal relating to the future of these programs is to ensure that they continue to meet their stated goals; and, in particular, in regard to the African Growth and Opportunity Act, that it provide the continuity, stability, and predictability necessary to establish by 2020 a stable and globally competitive textile and apparel industry in Africa.

SEC. 3. EXTENSION OF GENERALIZED SYSTEM OF PREFERENCES.

Section 505 of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2465) is amended by striking `2006' and inserting `2008'.

[The Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) is currently set to expire at the end of 2006. The Bill proposes that the GSP be extended by a further two years to the end of 2008.]

SEC. 4. EXTENSION OF ANDEAN TRADE PREFERENCE ACT.

Section 208 of the Andean Trade Preference Act (19 U.S.C. 3206) is amended by striking `2006' and inserting `2008'.

SEC. 5. AFRICAN GROWTH AND OPPORTUNITY ACT.

(a) Preferential Treatment of Apparel Articles- Section 112(b)(3)(B) of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (19 U.S.C. 3721(b)(3)(B)) is amended--

(1) in clause (i), by striking `2007' and inserting `2008';

[AGOA’s apparel provisions relating to the use of third country fabric inputs by beneficiary countries deemed to be “lesser developed” is currently set to expire on September 30, 2007. This Bill proposes a one year extension of the current expiry date.]

(2) in clause (ii)--

(A) by striking `and' at the end of subclause (III);

(B) in subclause (IV)--

(i) by striking `1.6071 percent' and inserting `3.2143 percent'; and

[The third country fabric provision, as referred to above, has a quota attached to it which is due to be halved for the (currently) final year of application of this provision. This relates to apparel shipped from “lesser developed” countries using the third-country fabric provisions. This Bill proposes to remove the provisions relating to “halving” of the quota (which in itself is based on a percentage of total US apparel imports), meaning that the full quota would apply to the 2006/2007 period.]

(ii) by striking the period at the end and inserting `; and'; and

(C) by adding at the end the following:

`(V) 3.5 percent for the 1-year period beginning October 1, 2007.';

[This relates to the quota (expressed as a percentage of total US apparel imports) that may be shipped under the rule permitting the use of third-country fabrics in apparel exported under AGOA by “lesser developed” countries. This quota represents a slight increase over the allowable quota for the previous period.]

(3) in clause (iii)--

(A) by striking `and' at the end of subclause (II);

(B) by striking the period at the end of subclause (III) and inserting `; and'; and

(C) by adding at the end the following:

`(IV) Mauritius.'; and

[The Bill proposes that Mauritius, for the purposes of AGOA’s apparel provisions, be permitted to benefit from the “third country” fabric provisions, as do the “lesser developed” AGOA beneficiaries. ]

(4) by striking clause (iv).

(b) Hearings- The Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Finance of the Senate shall conduct hearings in the 110th Congress on--

(1) the future of trade preference programs under the African Growth and Opportunity Act, the Andean Trade Preference Act, the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act, and title V of the Trade Act of 1974 (relating to the generalized system of preferences);

(2) the efficacy of those trade preference programs, including the impact of product exclusions and rules of origin in promoting trade with beneficiary countries; and

(3) the relationship of those trade preference programs to negotiations in the World Trade Organization Doha Development Agenda, including negotiations toward liberalized trade in goods and services and enhanced opportunities for the least developed countries.

Download a .pdf version of the Bill from AGOA.info's archives:

HR 6076 – Emergency Trade Programme Extension Act of 2006

Note: On 21 September Leader of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Bill Thomas, introduced Bill 6142 which likewise has clauses relating to AGOA. Details to follow as soon as the proposed legislation is publicly available.