President Bush signs AGOA extension bill
President George W. Bush has signed into law the AGOA Acceleration Act of 2004, an extension of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) that extends AGOA through 2015.
The African Growth and Opportunity Act 'has increased exports, created jobs and expanded opportunity for Africans and Americans alike,' Bush said, adding that the act would 'extend the law's benefits long into the future.'
Several AGOA apparel provisions were affected by the AGOA extension bill becoming law. 'The provision allowing the least developed Sub-Saharan African countries to use third-country fabrics is now extended through Sept. 30, 2007, although the size of the preference is halved in the final year,' the United States Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel (USA-ITA) said in a statement.
'Other fixes, such as the provision-making benefits for knit-to-shape garments duty free retroactive to Oct. 1, 2000, are also now effective,' USA-ITA explained.
Importers should be aware that 'the availability of such retroactive benefits may be limited by the date the particular sub-Saharan African country became eligible for benefits, if that date occurred after Oct. 1, 2000,' the association said.
For the full text of the AGOA Acceleration Act of 2004, see www.agoa.gov/index.html