AGOA Eligibility for Three Countries Under Review
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has initiated an out-of-cycle review of the eligibility of Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda to receive benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. This review could result in the termination of the designation of any of these countries as an AGOA beneficiary or the withdrawal, suspension, or limitation of duty-free treatment under AGOA with respect to articles from any of these countries.
USTR states that the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association has petitioned for this review based on its assertion that a March 2016 decision by the East African Community to phase in a ban on imports of used clothing and footwear is imposing significant economic hardship on the U.S. used clothing industry and is in violation of the AGOA statutory eligibility criteria to make continual progress toward establishing a market-based economy and eliminating barriers to U.S. trade and investment.
A public hearing will be held July 13. Requests to appear at the hearing and pre-hearing briefs, statements, or comments are due by June 30. Post-hearing briefs, statements, or comments are due by July 21. USTR will consider this input in developing recommendations for the president as to whether these countries are meeting the AGOA eligibility criteria.