Washington, DC – President Donald J. Trump announced today his intent to terminate the eligibility of Cameroon for trade preference benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), as of January 1, 2020, due to persistent gross violations of internationally recognized human rights. The President notified Congress and the Government of Cameroon accordingly.
Based on the results of the required annual AGOA eligibility review, the President determined that Cameroon does engage in gross violations of internationally recognized human rights. Consequently, Cameroon is out of compliance with eligibility requirements of AGOA. Specifically, Cameroon has failed to address concerns regarding persistent human rights violations being committed by Cameroonian security forces. These violations include extrajudicial killings, arbitrary and unlawful detention, and torture.
“The U.S. government remains deeply concerned about persistent gross violations of human rights being committed by the Cameroonian government against its own citizens,” said Deputy U.S. Trade Representative C.J. Mahoney. “This action underscores the Administration’s commitment to upholding the human rights criteria as required in the AGOA legislation. We urge the government of Cameroon to work with the United States and the international community to strengthen protection of human rights under the law and to publicly hold to account those who engage in human rights violations.”
The United States will continue to monitor whether Cameroon continues to engage in gross violations of internationally recognized human rights in accordance with the AGOA eligibility requirements.
In order to qualify for AGOA trade benefits, partner countries must meet certain statutory eligibility requirements, including not engaging in gross violations of internationally recognized human rights. Other criteria include making continual progress toward establishing the rule of law, political pluralism, establishing internationally recognized worker rights, and the elimination of barriers to U.S. trade and investment.