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'Extending AGOA till 2025 a priority' – US Official
Jun '11
Extending African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) till 2025 and the third country multi-fibre provision till 2022 is one of the immediate priorities of Bureau of African Affairs of the United States (US) Department of State, according to Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.

Talking about the US Africa Trade Policy at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Mr. Carson stated that the uncertainty prevailing over renewal of the law is discouraging potential investors to set up production units in AGOA eligible countries.

He added that the US administration under President Barack Obama seeks to extend the AGOA act through 2025.

In 2000, US's total exports to Africa stood at US$ 5.9 billion, while its imports from Africa amounted to US$ 23.4 billion. Since then, AGOA has significantly pushed both exports and imports, which grew to US$ 17.1 billion and US$ 64.3 billion respectively, in 2010, Carson said.

AGOA's rules of origin for fabric are one of the key incentives which draw potential investors to invest in textile manufacturing in AGOA eligible countries. This provision of AGOA permits the textile manufacturers in AGOA eligible countries to import necessary raw inputs from foreign countries, while retaining their preferential access to the US market, he explained.

Among other measures, he said, would be a measure to include South Africa to the Third Country Multi-Fibre provision. It is because South Africa is the only country, which despite of being an AGOA eligible country, does not qualify for this provision. Naturally, therefore, it is the most preferred country to gain benefit from this provision.

AGOA remains the main attraction of US's trade and investment policy with Africa and hence there is a need to extend the legislation, Carson said. He also added that in recent times, many inspiring economic news are coming in from Africa.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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