A recent report from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative finds that under the African Growth and Opportunity Act U.S. imports from, and exports to, AGOA beneficiary countries have increased. This report details the U.S.-sub-Saharan African trade relationship, analyzes country compliance with eligibility criteria, highlights regional integration efforts, and summarizes the trade capacity building assistance that various U.S. government agencies provide to Africa. It also provides information regarding out-of-cycle AGOA eligibility reviews and potential trade agreements with SSA.
Highlights of the report include the following.
- Total SSA exports to the U.S. rose from $23.5 billion in 2000 to a peak of $86.1 billion in 2008 before declining to $18.5 billion in 2015, mostly due to falling oil and other commodity prices.
- In 2015, the top SSA exports to the U.S. were mineral fuels (crude), precious metals, motor vehicles and parts, cocoa, ores, and iron and steel and the top SSA exporters to the U.S. were South Africa, Angola, Nigeria, Chad and Cote d’Ivoire.
- Total SSA exports under AGOA (including those under the Generalized System of Preferences Program) increased from $8.2 billion in 2001 to a peak of $66.3 billion in 2008 before declining to $9.3 billion in 2015, mainly due to the U.S. recession in 2009 and a sharp decline in oil exports.
- In contrast, SSA non-oil exports to the U.S. under AGOA nearly tripled from $1.4 billion in 2001 to $4.1 billion in 2015, mainly due to increases in exports of autos and parts, apparel, fruits and nuts, cocoa and cocoa products, prepared vegetables, footwear and cut flowers.
- In 2015, the top five exporters under AGOA were South Africa, Angola, Chad, Nigeria and Kenya.
- Total U.S. exports to SSA totaled $17.8 billion in 2015, up 202 percent from 2000 but down 30 percent from 2014. In 2015, top U.S. exports to SSA were machinery, aircraft, vehicles, mineral fuels and cereals and the top SSA export markets were South Africa, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Angola and Kenya.
- U.S. investment stock in SSA stood at $34.4 billion in 2014, compared to $9 billion in 2001, while SSA investment stock in the U.S. stood at $2.2 billion, down from $2.4 billion in 2001.
- 38 of the 49 SSA countries are eligible for AGOA; Burundi was terminated in January 2016 due to its failure to meet rule of law, human rights and political pluralism eligibility criteria.
- Some countries, including Kenya and Mauritius, have expressed an interest in establishing more mature, long-term trade relationships with the U.S., including by entering into free trade agreements.