The U.S. submitted to the World Trade Organization recently its annual report on the implementation of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which is required as part of a waiver of WTO rules that would otherwise require the U.S. to extend to all WTO members the duty-free treatment available under AGOA to products from eligible sub-Saharan African countries. Highlights of this report, which covers calendar year 2014, include the following.
- More than 91 percent of U.S. imports from AGOA-eligible countries entered duty-free under AGOA, the Generalized System of Preferences or other zero-tariff provisions.
- U.S. imports under AGOA fell 52.2 percent, from $24.8 billion to $11.8 billion, due primarily to large drops in imports of mineral fuels and motor vehicles and their parts.
- Mineral fuels accounted for nearly 76 percent of U.S. imports under AGOA, down from approximately 86 percent a year earlier. Other leading categories included apparel, iron and steel products, and edible fruits and nuts.
- Non-oil imports under AGOA (not including its related GSP provisions) nearly quadrupled from 2001 to 2014, from $752 million to $2.9 billion.
- Motor vehicles and their parts was the leading AGOA non-oil product sector for most of the 2001-2014 period, with imports under AGOA reaching approximately $1.3 billion in 2014.
- Another leading non-oil sector for this period was apparel, which represented 25 to 79 percent of total non-oil AGOA imports (not including its related GSP provisions) and saw imports rise from $356 million to $985 million. The leading category of apparel in 2014 was woven cotton men’s or boys’ trousers and shorts.
- Eighteen AGOA beneficiary countries have shipped apparel products to the United States under AGOA since 2001, led by Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritius, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Botswana.