- African Growth and Opportunity Act
TRALAC - Trade Law Centre
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Industry Sectors

AGOA provides trade preferences to over 7,000 tariff lines, allowing these goods to be exported to the United States duty-free, provided that the local-processing (Rules of Origin) and other import requirements are complied with.  Some industry sectors have successfully increased exports to the United States since the inception of AGOA. This section provides a collection of industry-specific resources and research.

Apparel manufacturing

The African apparel manufacturing sector received a major boost in 2001 when the United States included garments in the list of products eligible for duty-free access to the United States market under AGOA. This provided not only a waiver of US import duties - generally in the region of 15-30% ad valorum - but also gave African manufacturers a critical advantage over producers located in low-cost countries like China and Bangladesh which faced effective quota constraints and high tariffs on their products when shipped into the United States.

Since then, some of this advantage has been lost, not least due to the fact that quotas on Africa's competitors were removed under WTO rules. 

Today, the apparel manufacturing sector has demonstrated a measure of resilience and continues to compete in the US market. Leading Sub-Saharan African exporters of apparel are Lesotho, Mauritius, Kenya, Swaziland, Madagascar and Ethiopia.  

Find a link to AGOA trade data in the apparel sector at this link.


According to the African Cashew Initiative, 'nearly 40 % of the global cashew crop is produced by about 1.5 million small farmers in Africa'. However, cashew farmers in Africa are considered not to be well organized into associations, which weakens their bargaining position. Less than 2% of Africa's raw cashew production is said to to be processed in Africa. Leading cashew producers include Mozambique, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Benin and the Ivory Coast.

In terms of exports to the United States, the majority of trade takes place with Mozambique, followed by Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya. Exports to the US have increased steadily in recent years. Cashew is classified mainly under the following codes: HTS 0801.31 and HTS 2008.19.1040.   


Coffee production is spread widely throughout Africa, with leading exporters to the United States being Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda. While most African countries have experienced lower US exports in the first half of 2013, compared to 2012, Ethiopia stands out with a significant increase in exports. 

Coffee production and exports to the US are concentrated mainly in East and Central Africa. 

Foodstuff and related

Toolkit resources relating to the export of foodstuffs and related products. Also find a link to AGOA trade data in the agriculture sector.

Textiles - 'Category 9' articles

AGOA (or GSP) preferences do not ordinarily apply to textiles. However, and exception has been carved out under AGOA's textiles provisions, which allows handmade / hand loomed, ethnic printed and folklore articles to qualify for duty-free access to the United States market. Certain requirements must however be fulfilled - both administratively and in terms of the specification of articles shipped under this provision. Collectively, these items are referred to as "Category 9" articles. 

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