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American Shipper

Bush administration cites “measurable success” with AGOA

Bush administration cites “measurable success” with AGOA

Bush administration cites “measurable success” with AGOA

   The Bush administration reported to Congress Friday that the 2000 African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) has demonstrated “measurable success” for participating countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

   The administration must report to Congress annually through 2008 on the progress of this trade legislation.

   In 2004, the administration said U.S. exports to sub-Saharan Africa increased 25 percent from 2003 to $8.6 billion. AGOA imports were $26.6 billion in 2004, an increase of 88 percent over 2003. Non-oil AGOA imports totaled $3.5 billion, an increase of 22 percent over 2003.

   In July 2004, President Bush signed into law the AGOA Acceleration Act. This legislation extends AGOA’s authorization through 2015, including its special third-country fabric provision until 2007; mandates increased AGOA-related technical assistance; and amends some technical provisions of the Act.

   The United States spent $181 million for “trade-capacity building” activities in sub-Saharan Africa during fiscal 2004, up 36 percent over the previous year. Thirty-seven of the 48 sub-Saharan African countries are now eligible for AGOA.

   In December 2004, Burkina Faso was added to the list of eligible AGOA countries, and Cote d’Ivoire was taken off the list. Three countries — Benin, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone — became eligible for AGOA’s apparel benefits in 2004. Since April, 24 sub-Saharan African countries are eligible to receive AGOA’s apparel benefits.

   The fourth U.S.-Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum will be held in Dakar, Senegal, in July. Bush administration officials will meet with government ministers from the 37 AGOA-eligible countries at this event. “Hundreds of U.S. and African businesses and organizations will participate in the private sector and civil society dialogues to be held at the AGOA forum,” the Bush administration said.

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