The House of Representatives approved Sept. 7 legislation (H.R. 2845, the AGOA Enhancement Act) that would direct or encourage a number of actions to promote access to benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which last year was reauthorized through 2025. Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., said this bill would grant more flexibility to the Millennium Challenge Corporation to support regional efforts to bolster trade, leverage the Internet so that companies in the U.S. and Africa can learn about how to utilize AGOA, and foster U.S.-African private sector engagement.
H.R. 2845 includes the following provisions.
- directs the president to establish a website for the collection and dissemination of information regarding AGOA, including information and technical assistance provided at U.S. Agency for International Development regional trade hubs and a link to the websites of U.S. embassies in eligible sub-Saharan African countries
- encourages the State Department to direct U.S. embassies in eligible SSA countries to promote those countries’ use of AGOA benefits
- encourages the president to develop and implement policies to facilitate trans-boundary trade among eligible sub-Saharan African countries, provide training for business and government trade officials in such countries on accessing the benefits of AGOA and other trade preference programs, and provide capacity building for African entrepreneurs and trade associations on production strategies and quality standards, promoting product diversification and value-added processing, and helping businesses and institutions comply with U.S. counter-terrorism initiatives and policies