Gabon, Niger, Uganda, Central African Republic Face Expulsion from AGOA Trade Deal
U.S. President Joe Biden announced on Monday his decision to terminate the participation of Gabon, Niger, Uganda, and the Central African Republic in the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) trade program.
Biden cited ‘gross violations’ of internationally recognized human rights as the reason behind this action, specifically pointing to the Central African Republic and Uganda.
President Biden stated that Niger and Gabon did not show progress in protecting political pluralism and the rule of law. Despite efforts made by the United States, the Central African Republic, Gabon, Niger, and Uganda failed to address concerns regarding their non-compliance with AGOA eligibility criteria, as mentioned in Biden’s letter to the U.S. House of Representatives Speaker.
President Biden announced his intention to revoke the beneficiary status of Gabon, Niger, Uganda, and the Central African Republic under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) starting January 1, 2024.
He emphasized that their eligibility for the program will be subject to ongoing assessment to ensure compliance with its requirements.
AGOA, initiated in 2000, provides duty-free access to the U.S. market for exports from eligible nations. Scheduled to conclude in September 2025, talks are ongoing regarding its potential extension and duration.
African governments and industry organizations are advocating for a preemptive 10-year extension without alterations, aiming to provide stability for businesses and attract new investors uncertain about AGOA’s future.
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