USTR Requests Four Reports on AGOA Program
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative recently asked the International Trade Commission to prepare four reports as part of an ongoing agency effort to assess the impact of the African Growth and Opportunity Act on the economies of sub-Saharan Africa and identify factors that have impacted trade, investment and the economic climate in the region. The first report will assess (1) AGOA trade performance, utilization and competitiveness factors; (2) the effects of the preference program on the business and investment climate in sub-Saharan Africa; and (3) current or potential reciprocal trade agreements between sub-Saharan African and non-sub-Saharan African partners and the relationship of these agreements to the objectives of AGOA. This report will cover the period 2000 through 2013 and will normally be made available to the public in its entirety in about six months.
The USTR has also requested the ITC to prepare three confidential reports, including an assessment of the economic effects of providing duty-free treatment for imports from AGOA beneficiary countries on both U.S. industries producing like or directly competitive products and U.S. consumers. This assessment will cover articles already eligible for duty-free treatment under AGOA as well as the probable impact of providing similar treatment to all other articles.
The second confidential report will seek to identify (1) possible changes to the AGOA rules of origin that could have the potential to promote regional integration and increase exports to the U.S. and (2) the leading manufactured or processed goods (non-petroleum) that might benefit from such changes. Finally, the ITC has also been asked to prepare an analysis of the impact of the EU-South Africa Free Trade Agreement on U.S. exports to South Africa. Among other things, this analysis will identify the U.S. sectors/products with potential for increased U.S. exports if South Africa were to reduce its MFN tariffs for those U.S. products to the tariff levels of the EU-South Africa FTA.