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The Right Future for the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act

The Right Future for the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act
The Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is set to expire on September 30, 2025, marking a decision point to extend, revise, or outright eliminate the program. For more than 20 years, AGOA stood as the U.S. government’s bridge between U.S. assistance and bilateral trade, and, for some countries, AGOA has brought stable economic growth and access to the U.S. economy.

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The Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is set to expire in 2025, prompting discussions on whether to extend, revise, or eliminate the program. AGOA, which has been in place for over 20 years, aims to promote trade between the U.S. and sub-Saharan African countries. However, the program faces challenges related to eligibility, participation, and protections, which need to be addressed before any reauthorization. The program has been beneficial in fostering trade between the U.S. and Africa, but there are concerns about uneven performance, rewarding bad actors, and the impact of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Recommendations for Congress include strengthening eligibility criteria, requiring national strategies, reviewing the review process, implementing foreign entity of concern (FEOC) guidelines, and equipping AGOA with a graduation process. It is crucial that Congress meets the September 2025 deadline with a program that works for both African countries and the United States.

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