The American Apparel & Footwear Association applauds Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and Senator James Risch (R-ID) for introducing the AGOA Renewal and Improvement Act of 2024.

Currently set to expire in September 2025, AGOA is a pivotal trade preference program that provides duty-free access to the U.S. market, fostering economic growth and opportunity between the U.S. and eligible African countries. This program is the cornerstone of the U.S. economic relationship with Sub-Saharan Africa. By lowering the cost of trade and encouraging investment in the region, AGOA has created valuable opportunities for U.S. businesses, workers, and consumers, while promoting sustainable economic growth and development throughout the region.

The proposed AGOA Renewal and Improvement Act of 2024 would extend AGOA by 16 years, pushing the program’s expiration from 2025 to 2041. This long-term extension would provide businesses the certainty needed to invest in sub-Saharan Africa, further supporting economic growth and development in the region. The extension mirrors the 16-year sunset provision included in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). AGOA is also a bridge to trade agreements, such as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the U.S.-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership (STIP).

“As companies work to diversify out of China today more than ever, immediate and long-term renewal of AGOA for 16 years would be incredibly impactful and timely,” says AAFA president and CEO Steve Lamar. “AGOA renewal would bring quality work opportunities for African workers, many of whom are women, as companies commit to retain or grow orders from African factories as vital partners in their sourcing matrices.”

“Sourcing decisions are already being made for goods that will be shipped after AGOA’s current expiration,” adds Beth Hughes, AAFA vice president of trade and customs policy. “As we fast-approach the September 2025 expiration date, we do not want to see trade begin to drop off as sourcing is shifted away from African countries. The current expiration of the Generalized System of Preferences – which we are hoping will also be renewed for a long term during 2024 – is fueling speculation that a similar fate awaits AGOA. Action now, well before the program expires, eliminates that uncertainty.”



Source: https://www.aafaglobal.org/

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