TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

'DRC's suspension from AGOA is no sanction'

Sunday, 09 January 2011

Source: African Manager

The suspension of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is not a sanction and does not undermine the relationship between Kinshasa and Washington, Spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in the DRC, Satrajit Sardar, told journalists here Tuesday.

"The decree issued by President Barack Obama suspending the DRC from AGOA is not a sanction but a legislative requirement," said Mr. Sardar, adding that the U.S. would continue to work closely with the Congolese authorities to support efforts to improve conditions for human rights, one of the eligibility criteria.

Under the legislation that established AGOA, sub-Saharan countries should not engage in flagrant violations of internationally recognized human rights to maintain their eligibility to benefit from AGOA.

The US action has sparked reactions from the government of the DRC and Congolese political figures.

''This "decision was unfair and unjustified, given that Obama relies on biased information from Western NGOs which have always been in disagreement with the Congolese government,'' the government said.

On its part, the Federation of Congolese Enterprises (FEC) said the DRC had never received the benefits provided by AGOA.

Promulgated by former US President Bill Clinton in 2000, AGOA offers tangible benefits, including elimination of taxes, to encourage African countries to continue their efforts to open their economies and build free markets.

This year, seven countries did not meet eligibility criteria - Cote d'Ivoire, Eritrea, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Mauritania, Central African Republic and DRC.



“ Latest AGOA Trade Data currently available on AGOA.info


Click here to view a sector profile of DRC's bilateral trade with the United States, disaggregated by total exports and imports, AGOA exports and GSP exports.


Other regularly updated trade statistics on AGOA.info include: (click each link to view)

  • AGOA-Beneficiary Countries’ AGOA and GSP Trade Aggregates

  • AGOA Trade by Industry Sector

  • Apparel Trade under AGOA’s Wearing Apparel Provisions

  • Latest Apparel Quotas under AGOA

  • Bilateral Trade Data for all AGOA-eligible countries individually.