This Tuesday, the House and Ways Subcommittee on Trade will hold a hearing on the future of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). CGD’s Ben Leo, senior fellow and director of the Rethinking US Development Policy Initiative, will testify.
AGOA, which extends trade preferences to eligible countries in sub-Saharan Africa and authorizes targeted capacity building, is set to expire in September 2015. With countless calls for a “seamless renewal,” and added pressure to demonstrate progress ahead of the upcoming US-Africa Leaders Summit, the Subcommittee is doing its part to get the ball rolling. (The Senate Finance Committee will do the same on Wednesday.) Since its inception, there has been strong bipartisan support for AGOA, but as we approach year 15, even the law’s strongest champions are looking to make improvements that will increase its impact.
I will be listening for Ben’s insights into lessons learned from the past 14 years of AGOA: what have been the success stories and how can a new bill go further? I look forward to hearing Ben’s ideas for revisions that will help address constraints that prevent African firms from taking advantage of trade preferences. I’m also hoping that Ben will touch on what United States can do to spur greater investment in sub-Saharan Africa, since the original AGOA act was billed as central to US-Africa trade and investment policy, and foreign investment will be critical to building and expanding industry on the continent.
Watch the testimony live here.