South Africa – Industry bodies unpack importance of continued Agoa access for local automotive industry

As the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) comes up for potential renewal before its expiry in 2025, naamsa | The Automotive Business Council and the Automotive Industry Export Council (AIEC) have released a research report motivating for an extension to the trade preference programme.


Agoa has since 2001 allowed for duty- and quota-free exports from eligible sub-Saharan African countries into the US. It is an extension of the US Generalised System of Preferences and is subject to yearly congressional re-authorisation.

Some of the latest added Agoa products include items such as apparel and footwear, wine, motor vehicles, selected additional automotive components, certain agricultural products, chemicals and steel.

naamsa says in the report that Agoa has become a powerful symbol of the commitment the US and Africa have made to one another’s prosperity.

The industry body believes Agoa has served as a bedrock of trade relations between the two regions and helped to support regional integration, particularly the development of regional value chains – through Agoa’s rules permitting cumulation among programme beneficiaries.

South Africa was the continent’s largest beneficiary of Agoa in 2022, having exported R178-billion worth of goods to the US, while imports amounted to R134-billion.

In particular, South Africa has accounted for 99% of the African automotive sector’s exports to the US since Agoa’s inception. The South African automotive industry, for one, has been a major beneficiary of Agoa, with substantial two-way automotive trade having taken place between the two countries.



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