TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Cameroon, CAR, Gambia, Niger see US AGOA status changes

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Cameroon will lose its preferred trade status under the US African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) on January 1, following a US decision to revoke its status because of its human rights record.

The October decision was confirmed through a presidential proclamation last week.

Three other African nations also will see AGOA status changes, the White House said.

AGOA affect market access, investment and reduced or eliminated tariffs on US imports.

“Despite intensive engagement between the United States and the Government of Cameroon, Cameroon has failed to address concerns regarding persistent human rights violations being committed by Cameroonian security forces,” the previous White House statement said.

“These violations include extrajudicial killings, arbitrary and unlawful detention, and torture.”

“I have determined that the Republic of Niger, the Central African Republic, and the Republic of The Gambia have not established effective visa systems and related customs procedures meeting the requirements” of the relevant AGOA legislation, the presidential announcement added.

It applies to textiles and apparel imported by the US as well.

Other countries currently not eligible for AGOA participation are South Sudan, Eritrea and Democratic Republic of Congo.

Imports from sub-Saharan Africa to the US under AGOA amounted to $12 billion in 2018 and accounted for nearly half of total US imports from the region, with Nigeria, South Africa, Angola, Chad and Kenya as the top exporters under the AGOA provisions.

 

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