11 Dec AGOA comeback under threat from Africa free trade deal
The US government is exploring ways of renewing a preferential trade programme that gives countries in sub-Saharan Africa preferential access to US markets, allowing them to export products tariff-free. President Joe Biden wants to improve on the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) which comes to an end in 2025, to tap into Africa’s expanding integration…
“We will work with willing African partners to deepen and broaden our trade relationship, including trade negotiations, to deliver equitable and inclusive prosperity,” the report reads in part. “We will work with the Congress on the future of Agoa, which expires in 2025, and will support the AfCFTA’s implementation.” The US pledged to assist African countries to more transparently leverage their natural resources, including energy resources and critical minerals, for sustainable development while helping to strengthen supply chains that are diverse, open, and predictable. “Africa will shape the future — and not just the future of the African people but of the world,” said Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State…
In addition, the United States will work closely with African and multilateral partners to address the drivers of food insecurity and boost food production to mitigate the risk of malnutrition and famine that the UN estimates are affecting nearly 800 million Africans. The US also intends to “promote customs-to-business partnerships, increase the use of US Government trade transit cargo security measures, and expand data sharing with African partners.” The continent will be home to one quarter of the world’s population by 2050 and hosts vast natural resources, including the world’s second-largest rainforest and 30 percent of the critical minerals that power the modern world.
SOURCE: The East African