The new legislation, which was passed Tuesday by the House of Representatives, now awaits Senate approval.
“I was pleased to see both parties come together to promote AGOA, which helps encourage trade and economic prosperity for both American and African businesses,” said the New York Democrat, who played a key role in the original passage of AGOA in 2000 and its reauthorization in 2015. The reauthorization extends through 2025.
While promoting the role of women play in the development of the continent, AGOA also encourages the United States to work with sub-Saharan African governments to improve rule of law, strengthen and expand the private sector, reduce bureaucratic barriers to trade between sub-Saharan Africa and the United States.
“As the prime author of AGOA in 2000, I am very proud of the bipartisan work done by Chairman Ed Royce, Congresswoman Karen Bass, Congressman Jim McDermott, and many other leaders,” Rangel said. ‘It is great that AGOA is in the safe hands of new champions from both sides of the aisle.”
In addition, the program created by AGOA provides duty-free access to the United States market for most exports from eligible sub-Saharan African countries. It seeks to increase investment in the region, promote sustainable economic growth through trade, and encourage the rule of law and market-oriented reforms.
“This program has proven to be a tremendous success in opening up America’s economic relationship with sub-Saharan Africa,” Rangel said. “Since 2000, AGOA has created jobs, increased investment, promoted the rule of law, and lifted African families out of poverty. I am confident this new bill will improve access to information about AGOA and encourage training and technical assistance among AGOA-eligible countries and enhance regional economic integration and collaboration as part of U.S. international development efforts.”