The U.S. International Trade Commission has initiated four investigations to examine the impact of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) trade preference program on the economies of sub-Saharan Africa and identify factors that have impacted trade, investment and the economic climate of the region.
The investigations were requested by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in an Oct. 17 letter. In the letter, USTR noted the Obama administration is working with its partners in the region and Congress to renew and potentially modify AGOA, which entered into force on Oct. 1, 2000. One report will be a public report, while the other three will be confidential, ITC said.
The first investigation, AGOA: Trade and Investment Performance Overview
, will address AGOA’s trade performance, utilization, and competitiveness factors; AGOA's impact on the business and investment climate in sub-Saharan Africa; and the relationship between current or potential sub-Saharan African reciprocal trade agreements and the objectives of AGOA. This report will be submitted to USTR on April 17 and will be released to the public soon after.
The second investigation, AGOA: Economic Effects of Providing Duty-Free Treatment for Imports
, will assess the economic effects of providing duty-free treatment for AGOA imports on U.S. industries and consumers. This report will be confidential and will also be delivered to USTR on April 17.
The third investigation, U.S. AGOA Rules of Origin: Possible Changes to Promote Regional Integration and Increase Exports to the United States
, will identify possible changes to the origin rules under AGOA with the potential to increase exports from AGOA-eligible countries. This report will be confidential and will be delivered to USTR on April 30.
The fourth investigation, EU-South Africa FTA: Impact on U.S. Exports to South Africa
, will assess the impact of the EU-South Africa free trade agreement on U.S. exports to South Africa. This report will be confidential and will be delivered to USTR on April 17.
ITC will hold one public hearing related to the four investigations on Jan. 14. For more details about the investigations, visit the ITC website