USTR - Trade with Sub-Saharan Africa: AGOA is the Cornerstone of Success
The Office of the United States Trade Representative

Trade with Sub-Saharan Africa: AGOA is the Cornerstone of Success

• The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is the cornerstone of the Bush Administration’s trade and investment policy toward sub-Saharan Africa, which is promoting free markets, expanding U.S.-African trade and investment, stimulating economic growth, and facilitating sub-Saharan Africa’s integration into the global economy.

• As a result of AGOA, substantially all imports from sub-Saharan Africa are eligible to enter the United States duty-free. In 2003, over 95 percent of U.S. imports from AGOA eligible countries entered duty-free.

• The United States is sub-Saharan Africa’s largest single country export market, accounting for 20 percent of the region’s total exports in 2002.

• AGOA has helped to bolster U.S.-sub-Saharan trade and investment. Total trade between the U.S. and sub-Saharan Africa was just under $33 billion in 2003, with U.S. exports of almost $7 billion and imports of $25.6 billion.

• U.S. imports under AGOA were valued at just over $14 billion in 2003, a 55 percent increase from 2002. The U.S. direct investment position in sub-Saharan Africa increased 12 percent at year-end 2002, to $8.9 billion.

• Thirty-seven of the 48 sub-Saharan African countries are now eligible for AGOA. On December 31, 2003, Angola was added to the list of eligible countries, and two countries—Central African Republic and Eritrea—were removed from the list for failing to meet the eligibility criteria.

• As of April 2004, 24 countries were eligible to receive AGOA’s apparel benefits. Eight countries have qualified for AGOA’s special handloomed and handmade provisions.

• The United States devoted $133 million to trade capacity building activities in sub-Saharan Africa in FY 2003, up 26 percent from the previous fiscal year. More than a dozen U.S. agencies implemented these activities.

“By any measure, AGOA has been an outstanding success.. I have been extraordinarily impressed by the advances that African governments and businesses have made in recent years.”

-- Robert B. Zoellick, United States Trade Representative