UPDATE 1-U.S.-Africa Agenda Should Be Extended Through 2041, Senate Democrat Says

by MMC
0 comment

(Adds comment from Senator Cardin’s spokesperson, paragraph 7)

By Makini Brice

WASHINGTON, Nov 6 (Reuters) – A trade program that gives exports from eligible African countries duty-free access to the U.S. market should be extended for 16 years, said Democratic Senator Chris Coons, a prominent spokesman for the American-African policy.

Talks are underway for the renewal of the two-decade-old African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which is set to expire in 2025.

African countries are seeking a 10-year renewal of the agreement before the 2024 U.S. election. President Joe Biden’s administration is also seeking reauthorization of the program, but has called for some reforms.

Coons, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, sponsored a bill to integrate AGOA and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, which includes the majority of African countries.

According to a draft law obtained exclusively by Reuters, the program would maintain benefits for countries as they get richer, allowing them to stay until they are determined to have a high income for five years, at instead of removing them if they achieve this objective. threshold for a single year.

“My AGOA Renewal Act would expand this program, encouraging investments that will create jobs, enhance economic development and strengthen our position in the region,” Coons said in a statement.

Ben Cardin, chairman of the committee, supports reauthorizing the program but believes there should be changes in how eligibility criteria are applied, an aide said.

James Risch, the panel’s top Republican, wrote in a letter to Biden administration officials on Thursday that he supports quickly reauthorizing the program but wants to see changes to its eligibility criteria and other modifications .

More than $10 billion in African exports entered the United States duty-free under this program in 2022. The deal has bipartisan support in Washington, but there are divisions over how to update it.

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said Saturday that AGOA should aim to boost use of the program by eligible countries, but did not provide details on how it would do that.

U.S. business groups have said they need certainty around AGOA, so African countries can benefit from a global push to reduce their dependence on Chinese manufacturing. (Reporting by Makini Brice; editing by Paul Simao and Josie Kao)

You may also like

Leave a Comment

afriqaa (1)

The news website dedicated to showcasing Africa news is a valuable platform that offers a diverse and comprehensive look into the continent’s latest developments. Covering everything from politics and economics to culture and wildlife conservation

u00a92022 All Right Reserved. Designed and Developed by PenciDesign