African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)

Overview on African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), I and II; Carribean Basin Initiative (CDBi)
Organizations Working on AGOA

News & Opinion
Africa Asks for Long-lasting Solution to AGOA New Era, August 17, 2009
AGOA Nations Frustrated by Administration’s Adherence to Status Quo Inside US Trade, August 14, 2009
CIT Rejects Claim for AGOA Benefits Citing Deficiencies in Documentation Daily Report for Executives, August 13, 2009
Africa faces WTO hurdle in bid to extend US trade pact Business Daily, August 13, 2009
Report Suggests AGOA Benefits Unrealized Congress Daily, August 13, 2009
Will Global Recession Damage U.S. Africa Trade Ties? All Africa, August 12, 2009
US Committed to Boosting Trade With Africa, Clinton Says Bloomberg, August 5, 2009
US trade envoy to voice ‘tough love’ for Africa AFP, July 31, 2009
Has Namibia Benefited From AGOA?The Namibian, December 7, 2007
AGOA has “failed” to achieve anti-poverty goal The East African, July 20, 2007
AGOA Forum Highlights US-African Trade Voice of America, July 18, 2007
Letter from the US-SACU Working Group against CAFTA June 30, 2005
Winter of Discontent: Africa Is Looking Beyond AGOA Journal of Commerce, February 14, 2005
U.S. Trade Act Ignores Sexual Harassment United Press International, June 23, 2004

Overview on African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), I and II; Carribean Basin Initiative (CDBi)
The African Growth and Opportunity Act (H.R. 434), signed into law on May 18, 2000 by President Clinton, provides African countries with increased access to the U.S. market in exchange for their meeting of “reforming” criteria. The Act, dubbed by some as “NAFTA for Africa,” proscribes structural adjustment-type liberalization requirements for African countries in return for limited market access. The U.S. government determines eligibility and has so far selected 38 African countries to receive the ‘benefits’ of lower import duties on an approved list of products entering the United States. Market access benefits are conditioned, however, in a way which encourages the exploitation of Africa’s labor and resources by foreign multinationals rather than through sustainable economic development.

The agreement, in essence, allows U.S. corporate access to African markets in which they have a significant advantage over domestic industries and small-scale farmers. Congressman Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. called AGOA the “Africa Recolonization Act,” and joined 135 of his colleagues in opposing it. Since AGOA’s passage President Bush has made an amendment to the Act (AGOA II) and designated more African countries as eligible.

The Administration is currently discussing plans to broaden AGOA coverage.

The Human Rights, Opportunity, Partnership and Empowerment (HOPE) for Africa Bill
The Human Rights, Opportunity, Partnership and Empowerment (HOPE) for Africa Bill (H.R. 772) was proposed in 1999 as a response to the African Growth and Opportunity Act. Drafted by African and U.S. civil society groups, economists, trade specialists and legislators and introduced by Congressman Jesse L. Jackson, Jr., the HOPE bill addressed the real needs and concerns of sub-Saharan Africa. The bill provided for mutually beneficial trade by taking a holistic approach interlocking trade, investment, business facilitation, debt relief, aid and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. The bill did not pass, but garnered significant support.

Organizations Working on AGOA
Third World Network – Africa
Africa Action
TransAfrica Forum
The Washington Office on Africa, Trade page
Africa Home Page, International Center for Trade and Sustainable Development
Africa Faith and Justice Network
Economic Policy Institute
Economic Justice Now

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