Addis Ababa — The United States and sub- Saharan African countries on Monday launched discussions on how their Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum, known as AGOA, will go forward, said Michael Forman, U.S. trade representative.
Speaking to the press on Monday on the sidelines of the 2013 AGOA Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Forman, who also led the U.S. delegation to Ethiopia, said U. S. officials and ministers from AGOA eligible sub-Saharan African countries have launched a review on what kind of changes to be made to AGOA going forward.
AGOA is the U.S. flagship economic initiative with sub-Saharan Africa, providing duty-free entry to the U.S for nearly 7,000 product lines.
Enacted in 2000 and to expire in September 2015, AGOA allows about 39 eligible African countries to export most products duty- free to the U.S..
Ethiopia is hosting the 12th edition of the forum with the theme of "Sustainable Transformation through Trade and Technology".
The U. S. trade representative said, "I am very gratifying by the feedback that I have received from other AGOA ministers about they would like to see AGOA going forward," he said.
On an earlier occasion, Forman said steps must be taken to keep the trade under AGOA growing.
"The first is working with the U.S. Congress on a seamless renewal of AGOA beyond 2015 -- one that will give certainty and predictability to manufacturers, buyers, and investors both here and in the United States," said the official.