A National Security and Foreign Policy Analyst Joana LeBlanc has said that additional bilateral relations in trade policies are needed to serve both Africa and the United States under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
Since its enactment in 2000, AGOA has been at the core of U.S. economic policy and commercial engagement with Africa.
AGOA provides eligible sub-Saharan African countries with duty-free access to the U.S. market for over 1,800 products, in addition to the more than 5,000 products that are eligible for duty-free access under the Generalized System of Preferences program.
To meet AGOA’s rigorous eligibility requirements, countries must establish or make continual progress toward establishing a market-based economy, the rule of law, political pluralism, and the right to due process.
Additionally, countries must eliminate barriers to U.S. trade and investment, enact policies to reduce poverty, combat corruption and protect human rights.
By providing new market opportunities, AGOA has helped bolster economic growth, promoted economic and political reform, and improved U.S. economic relations in the region.
After completing its initial 15-year period of validity, the AGOA legislation was extended on 29 June 2015 by a further 10 years, to 2025.
Madam LeeBlank told TV3’s Natalie Fort that “The United States enjoys a hefty surplus under the AGOA.
“There is potential for growth under AGOA. It is a matter of strategizing and renegotiating the terms. I think government could start there, engage in trade relations between other countries within the African continent.
“That is a way to generate revenue.”