Guinea and Madagascar are now eligible for textile and apparel benefits provided for under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
AGOA provides duty-free access to the U.S. market for certain textile and apparel imports from beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries, provided they abide by the law, support human rights, promote poverty reduction and do not engage in corrupt activities. Only nine nations of the 49 that qualify were previously taking advantage of the preferential tariff treatment, including Benin, Lesotho, Liberia, Tanzania and Ethiopia.
A notice published in the Federal Register Monday noted The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has determined both Guinea and Madagascar have adopted effective visa systems and related procedures to prevent unlawful transshipment and the use of counterfeit documents. President Obama designated Madagascar as a beneficiary in a June proclamation.
Both countries have also made “substantial progress” toward implementing and following the customs procedures outlined under AGOA, the statement noted.
The U.S. imported $99 million worth of goods from Guinea in 2013, a 4 percent decrease from 2012.
Goods exported from Madagascar to the U.S. totaled $180 million in 2013, up 63.6% from the previous year.