Congress will soon make some big trade policy decisions that impact Sub-Saharan Africa. The Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which provides duty free access to the $17 trillion US market for qualifying African countries, is set to expire this fall.
Beware the zombies, ghouls, ghosts, and vampires that will flood streets across the country this Halloween Friday. Of course they’re mostly just children in costume with one thing on their minds: candy. And lots of it.
The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) needs to be reauthorized next year and discussions about how to improve it are picking up steam. There is a lot that is unknown—when it will be renewed, for how long, and whether the renewal will be as “seamless” as everyone says they want.
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.
Trade policy is one of America’s most potent development tools, particularly for the world’s poorest countries. The big question has always been how best to use it. Should the US give away duty-free access to its $17 trillion market? Essentially opening the door to anyone in the hopes of benefitting as many people as possible.
This is shaping up to be a big year for US trade policy. Most eyes are on potential deals with the Pacific Rim and Europe (and reeling from Senator Reid’s latest blow to their prospects). Those of us concerned with trade as a driver for development should also be watching Congress’ and the Obama Administration’s review of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
The Brookings Institution’s Africa Growth Initiative, in conjunction with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, recently released an important report on possibilities for renewing the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The report uses a standard trade model to explore the impact of various scenarios. It has the imprimatur of two prestigious institutions and was launched at a high-profile event with US Trade Representative Michael Froman as featured speaker, so it could be an important contribution to the debate over the future of AGOA.
The recent collapse of a factory building in Bangladesh that killed hundreds of people making clothing for export has shined a harsh spotlight on the lack of worker protection in such low-income developing countries.My guest on this week’s show, CGD senior fellow Kimberly Elliott, says that the disaster is unusual only in its magnitude.