African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)
In October 2000, the African Growth Opportunity Act amended the U.S. trade law to authorize the President to designate certain sub-Saharan African countries as eligible for duty-free tariff treatment for certain products under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) trade program. AGOA also authorizes the preferential treatment for certain textile and apparel articles. One of the provisions in the eligibility process is whether the country has established, or is making continual progress toward establishing, the protection of intellectual property. AGOA added over 1,800 products to the more than 4,600 products already included under GSP. According to USTR, almost all African exports to the U.S. enter duty-free under GSP, AGOA or another zero rate of duty.
The President monitors, reviews and reports to Congress each year on the progress of each county in meeting its current or potential eligibility for participation in the AGOA. For example, in December 2009, the Administration terminated the AGOA eligibility of Guinea, Madagascar and Niger for their failure to meet the statutory obligations of AGOA. As of 2019, 39 sub-Saharan African countries are eligible for AGOA. For further information on AGOA, please see the International Trade Administrations’s website site at https://www.trade.gov/agoa/.