Debate Continues Over US Tax-Free Trade Program With Africa

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The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) reports that the trade benefits of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) have helped reduce poverty and create jobs in some countries, especially for women. increase.

According to the analysis, only five countries – South Africa, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar and Ethiopia – will export duty-free non-petroleum products to the US between 2014 and 2021.

The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee has ordered an investigation to inform congressional debates over whether to extend or reform the AGOA, which expires on September 30, 2025. The initiative, which serves as a pillar of trade relations between the United States and Africa, was established in 2000 to promote democratization and economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The report cites apparel as the program’s biggest achievement, with the sector helping major exporting countries such as Madagascar, Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritius and Ethiopia to reduce poverty levels.

“The benefits of AGOA appear essential for sub-Saharan African countries to sustain their apparel exports to the United States.” The USITC report states:

The report also found that AGOA was less effective in reducing poverty for workers in other sectors, such as cotton farming, cocoa production and chemicals, due to the underdevelopment of more value-added downstream manufacturing industries. also points out.

“While certain sectors and countries have benefited from the program, AGOA has not achieved everything we hoped it would, and much more needs to be done to improve economic relations. Rep. Richard Neal, the top Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, said:

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