The African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) is an important U.S. law signed by former U.S. President Bill Clinton in 2000. AGOA is set to expire in 2015. At the African Growth and Economic Development Summit at USC earlier this month, I encouraged everyone interested in doing business with African countries and African economic growth to ask U.S. Congress to renew AGOA. I continue to make the same appeal in this blog post and explain why.
AGOA promotes trade between the United States and eligible Sub-Saharan African countries. For example, apparel manufacturers from the Sub-Saharan African region are able to export their clothing to the United States duty-free. Duties are the taxes placed on foreign goods entering into any country. Therefore, the importer or the buyer does not have to pay this specific tax to import garment from a Sub-Saharan African country.
The law helps U.S. textile producers in that one provision requires that the final garment entering the United States uses unlimited amounts of U.S. yarn, thread and fabric.
Debates continue as to whether or not the law truly helps the Sub-Saharan Africa garment manufacturers compete in the United States.
While I continue to push for a revised U.S.-Africa trade policy, AGOA is all that we have now. For this reason, we should not allow this law to expire.
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