AGOAs Third Country Fabrics Provision
The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is the cornerstone of America’s trade and investment policy with Africa. AGOA has been extremely effective in expanding trade between the U.S. and Africa and creating jobs on both continents. That success is closely tied to AGOA’s Third Country Fabric (TCF) provision, which was set to expire on September 30th, 2012.
On August 2, 2012, both the House and the Senate voted to pass critical legislation that extends the Third-Country Fabric provision of AGOA while also making necessary improvements to the Central Amerian-Dominican Republic-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). As a result, thousands of jobs in the United States, Africa, and Latin America - which were on the line with this legislation - will now be protected.
The TCF provision is crucial to the continued survival of Africa’s textile and apparel industry. It has not only generated hundreds of thousands of jobs in sub-Saharan Africa, but it has also helped American retailers reduce their costs, diversify their supply chains, and provide greater low-cost apparel options for American consumers." via Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Trade Development/ African Growth and Opportunity Act
Annual Review of Eligibility of Sub-Saharan African Countries for AGOA Duty Preferences
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is conducting its annual review of the eligibility of sub-Saharan African countries to receive benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. Public comments, which are due no later than Oct. 12, will be considered in developing recommendations on AGOA country eligibility for the president. In addition, comments related to the AGOA child labor criteria may be considered by the Department of Labor as it prepares its required report on that issue.
For 2012 the following have been designated as beneficiary SSA countries: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and Zambia.
In addition, the following have not been designated as beneficiary SSA countries in 2012 and are up for review: Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Madagascar, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Zimbabwe.
The president may designate a country as eligible for AGOA’s additional Generalized System of Preferences benefits, as well as the textile and apparel benefits if certain statutory requirements intended to prevent unlawful transshipment are met, if that country meets the eligibility criteria set forth in section 104 of the AGOA and section 502 of the 1974 Trade Act. These requirements include that the country has established or is making substantial progress toward establishing, among other things, a market-based economy, the rule of law, political pluralism, the right to due process, the elimination of barriers to U.S. trade and investment, economic policies to reduce poverty, a system to combat corruption and bribery, and the protection of internationally recognized worker rights. In addition, the country may not engage in activities that undermine U.S. national security or foreign policy interests or engage in gross violations of internationally recognized human rights. If the president determines that a beneficiary is not making continual progress in meeting the eligibility requirements, the designation of that country as a beneficiary must be terminated." From Today's International Trade and Customs News the Sandler, Travis and Rosenberg Trade Report. posted on 9/19/2012