TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Uganda: Buyers Want AGOA III

Wednesday, 19 May 2004

Source: The Nation (Nairobi)

African economies could face serious problems if the passage of the proposed enhancement of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, or Agoa III, was delayed beyond September 30.

US assistant trade representative for Africa Florizelle Liser told a House subcommittee last week the extension was needed to preserve emerging African economies.

According to the Bureau of International Information Programmes of the US Department of State, chairman Ed Royce asked the subcommittee what would happen if the provision in the last Agoa bill were allowed to expire.

The bill allows least developed countries duty-free export into the US market of apparels made with fabrics from another country.

"I think the failure to extend that provision could have a serious impact on economies in Africa that Agoa helped to expand over the past four years," Ms Liser said.

If the "third-country fabric provision" were allowed to lapse on September 30, she said, the momentum gained by several African countries in their textile sectors might stall, leading to loss of jobs and investment.

"Some textile businesses in Africa have already moved to Asia.", she added.