April 15, 2024

Young, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Renew Trade Partnership Between U.S. and Sub-Saharan African Countries

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.), James Risch (R-Idaho), and Chris Coons (D-Del.) introduced the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Renewal and Improvement Act of 2024 to renew and strengthen a key trade program with sub-Saharan African countries. The African Growth and Opportunity Act 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. The AGOA Renewal and Improvement Act is cosponsored by Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.).

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 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.

“For over two decades, AGOA has strengthened economic and trade relations between the U.S. and sub-Saharan African countries. This legislation to renew AGOA will enhance the oversight and efficiency of the program and further develop the relationship between the U.S. and this growing region,” said Senator Young.

“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 Senator 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 Senator 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 of 2024 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 that 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.

Full text of the bill can be found here.