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American Shipper

USTR issues AGOA progress report to Congress

USTR issues AGOA progress report to Congress

   The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative submitted its annual report to Congress Thursday on the progress of the African Growth and Opportunity Act.

   Since its origin in 2000, AGOA has helped increase U.S. two-way trade with sub-Saharan Africa by 115 percent.

   According to the USTR report, U.S. exports to sub-Saharan Africa in 2005 increased 22 percent from 2004 to $10.3 billion. Total U.S. imports from sub-Saharan Africa increased 40 percent to $50.3 billion. In 2005, more than 98 percent of U.S. imports from AGOA-eligible countries entered the United States duty-free.

   “As these countries open their economies and increase their capacity to trade, opportunities are also arising for American exports to Africa,” said U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman in a statement.

   The USTR noted that 37 of the 48 sub-Saharan countries are now eligible for AGOA benefits. To help these countries, the U.S. government spent more than $199 million on trade capacity building activities in sub-Saharan Africa last year.

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