Africa: Risch, Coons Introduce Legislation to Renew Trade Partnership Between U.S. and Sub-Saharan African Countries

press release

Washington, DC — U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Chris Coons (D-Del.), introduced the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Renewal and Improvement Act of 2024today to renew and strengthen a key trade program with sub-Saharan African countries. AGOA is a trade preference program that facilitates deeper investment and stronger commercial ties between the United States and sub-Saharan African countries. First enacted in 2000, AGOA is due to sunset next year.

“AGOA plays a significant role in U.S.-sub-Saharan Africa trade and investment, as well as in U.S. foreign policy. This bipartisan bill aims to refine AGOA’s eligibility criteria, increase transparency, and hold U.S. agencies accountable for their advice to the president,” said Risch. “This legislation will bolster Congress’ involvement in the eligibility process and oversight, demonstrating a strong commitment to AGOA. I encourage my colleagues to swiftly reauthorize AGOA and the next administration to pursue a broader, two-way strategy with Africa that goes beyond trade preferences and meets the needs of the 21st century.”

“Over the past 24 years, AGOA has created jobs and economic growth in one of the fastest-growing regions of the world and created investment opportunities for American businesses,” said Coons. “The AGOA Renewal and Improvement Act is necessary to support continued economic development on the continent while further strengthening ties between the United States and partners in sub-Saharan Africa.”

The AGOA Renewal and Improvement Act would extend AGOA until 2041. This long-term extension would offer businesses the certainty they need to increase investment in sub-Saharan Africa at a time when many firms are looking to diversify their supply chains away from China. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to the world’s youngest population and many fast-growing economies, and AGOA has played a critical role in advancing economic development and strengthening U.S. economic engagement in the region.

This legislation will extend AGOA and improve the program to encourage sustainable development, regional integration, and stronger relations between the United States and countries in the region. Among other changes, the bill would:

  • Extend AGOA by 16 years, pushing back the program's expiration from 2025 to 2041. The timeline mirrors the 16-year sunset provision included in the U.S.-Mexico Canada Agreement.
  • Streamline the AGOA eligibility review process to ensure any enforcement action is timely, fair, and clearly communicated.
  • Integrate AGOA with the African Continental Free Trade Agreement to support the development of intra-African supply chains.
  • Incentivize AGOA beneficiaries to develop a “utilization strategy” to increase exports under the program.

Text of the bill is available here. A summary of the bill is available here.

AllAfrica publishes around 500 reports a day from more than 100 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.