African Growth and Opportunity Act: Notice and Request for Comment (USTR)

The African Growth and Opportunity Act Implementation Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff Committee (“Subcommittee”) of the Office of the U.S. Trade Reprentative (“USTR”) is requesting written public comments for the annual review of the eligibility of sub-Saharan African countries to receive the benefits of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The Subcommittee will consider these comments in developing recommendations on AGOA country eligibility for calendar year 2014.

The AGOA (Title I of the Trade and Development Act of 2000,Public Law 106-200) (19 U.S.C. 3721 et seq.), as amended, authorizes the President to designate sub-Saharan African countries as beneficiaries eligible for duty-free treatment for certain additional products under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) (Title V of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2461 et seq.) (1974 Act)), as well as for the preferential treatment the AGOA provides for certain textile and apparel articles.
The President may designate a sub-Saharan African country as a beneficiary eligible for both the additional GSP benefits and the textile and apparel benefits of AGOA if he determines that the country meets the eligibility criteria set forth in: (1) section 104 of the AGOA(19 U.S.C. 3703); and (2) section 502 of the 1974 Act (19 U.S.C. 2462).

Section 104 of AGOA includes requirements that the country has established or is making substantial progress toward establishing, inter alia: a market-based economy; the rule of law, political pluralism, and the right to due process; the elimination of barriers to U.S. trade and investment; economic policies to reduce poverty; a system to combat corruption and bribery; and protection of internationally recognized worker rights. In addition, the country may not engage in activities that undermine U.S. national security or foreign policy interests or engage in gross violations of internationally recognized human rights. Please see section 104 of AGOA and section 502 of the 1974 Act for a complete list of the AGOA eligibility criteria. Under this request for public comment that was posted in the October 1st issue of the Federal Register (see citation 78 FR 60367-60368) the USTR is seeking commentary from the private sector as to specific African countries that may or may not have met these eligibility requirements.

Comments need to be submitted to USTR by October 25th. If your company wishes to make comment on this issue, please contact TSI Global Consulting at 210-757-0618.

List of countries eligible under the AGOA in 2013:

Angola, Ethiopia, Mauritania, Swaziland,
Benin, Gabon, Mozambique, Tanzania,
Botswana, Gambia, Namibia, Togo,
Burkina Faso Ghana Niger Uganda
Burundi, Guinea, Nigeria, Zambia,
Cape Verde, Kenya, Rwanda,
Cameroon, Lesotho Sao Tome and Principe
Chad, Liberia, Senegal,
Comoros, Malawi, Seychelles,
Congo, Mali, Sierra Leone,
Cote d’Ivorie, Mauritania, South Africa,
Djibouti, Mauritius, South Sudan,

 

Are you doing business in Africa or interested in exploring business opportunities in Africa?

 

o   Did you know that the United States has a preferential trade agreement known as the African Growth and Opportunity Act?

 

o   What products qualify for special trade preferences under the AGOA?

 

o   What trade documentation is needed under the AGOA?

 

For a complete analysis of business opportunities that may exist for your company under the AGOA contact TSI Global Consulting, LLC  at 210-757-0618.

 

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