WASHINGTON — The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) today released a statement following the termination of Ethiopia, Guinea, and Mali from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) tariff preference program as of January 1, 2022, absent urgent action to meet statutory eligibility criteria.
“CPA welcomes the news that three AGOA beneficiary governments are being held accountable for not meeting the program’s eligibility criteria,” said Michael Stumo, CEO of CPA. “Congress set high expectations for African governments under AGOA and the Biden administration is right to review participants who are not meeting statutory obligations. In exchange for corporations located in those countries receiving duty-free treatment for their exports to our market, the President must be satisfied that the beneficiaries are making continual progress towards a market-based economy, political pluralism, and the protection of internationally recognized worker rights. Furthermore, the statute commands that the beneficiaries not engage in activities that undermine U.S. national security or foreign policy interests.
“Because waiving tariffs drives outsourcing and costs the Treasury much needed revenue, every presidential administration owes it to the American people to either hold beneficiaries accountable, or demonstrate that the sacrifice of jobs and revenue was worth it,” continued Stumo. “As part of this year’s AGOA beneficiary review, CPA recommended that Mauritius and Djibouti be removed from the list. This was due to Mauritius recently signing a free trade agreement with China, and Djibouti hosting a Chinese military base. As USTR undertakes its 2022 biennial review of the AGOA program, we encourage President Biden and Ambassador Tai to ensure that beneficiary countries are living up to all of the statutory criteria set by Congress.”