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FACT SHEET: African Growth and Opportunity Act: 2018 Biennial Report

What is AGOA?

Since its enactment in 2000, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) has been at the core of U.S. economic policy and commercial engagement with Africa.  AGOA provides eligible sub-Saharan African countries with duty-free access to the U.S. market for over 1,800 products, in addition to the more than 5,000 products that are eligible for duty-free access under the Generalized System of Preferences program.

To meet AGOA’s rigorous eligibility requirements, countries must establish or make continual progress toward establishing a market-based economy, the rule of law, political pluralism, and the right to due process.  Additionally, countries must eliminate barriers to U.S. trade and investment, enact policies to reduce poverty, combat corruption and protect human rights.

By providing new market opportunities, AGOA has helped bolster economic growth, promoted economic and political reform, and improved U.S. economic relations in the region.

40 countries are eligible for AGOA benefits in 2018.

Trade and Investment Statistics

  • Total two-way goods trade between the United States and sub-Saharan Africa increased 5.8%, from $36.9 billion in 2015 to $39 billion in 2017
  • Top U.S. goods exports to sub-Saharan Africa:  machinery ($2.3 billion), vehicles ($1.6 billion), aircraft ($1.5 billion), mineral fuels ($1.4 billion), and electrical machinery ($864 million)
  • Top U.S. export markets in the region:  South Africa ($5 billion), Nigeria ($2.2 billion), Ghana ($886 million), Ethiopia ($873 million), and Angola ($810 million)
  • Top U.S. imports from sub-Saharan Africa:  oil ($11.2 billion), precious metals ($4.1 billion), cocoa ($1.2 billion), vehicles ($1.2 billion), and iron and steel ($950 million)
  • Top sub-Saharan African suppliers to the United States were South Africa ($7.8 billion), Nigeria ($7.1 billion), Angola ($2.6 billion), Cote d’Ivoire ($1.2 billion), and Botswana ($772 million).
  • U.S. investment in sub-Saharan Africa stood at $29 billion in 2016, the latest year available, down 23% compared to $37.5 billion in 2014.  The three largest destinations for U.S. investment were Mauritius ($6.7 billion), South Africa ($5.1 billion) and Nigeria ($3.8 billion).
  • Sub-Saharan Africa foreign direct investment in the U.S. stood at $4.2 billion in 2016, up 164% compared to $1.6 billion in 2014.