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By Amar Hamoudi

AGOA took effect January 2001 to allow qualifying sub-Saharan African countries to export qualifying goods duty free to the US. The act was expressly designed to "increase trade and investment between the USA and SSA." The evidence over the short time since it was enacted reveals that:

· Most of the AGOA benefits have gone to oil exporters;

· Most of the imports eligible for duty- free treatment are still being taxed, notwithstanding their eligibility. This is probably due to logistical difficulties in claiming AGOA benefits;

· AGOA has not increased trade flows from eligible countries to the US (yet); · There are structural features of the law which threaten to reduce its developmental impacts.

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CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD does not take institutional positions.