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What is AGOA?

A:

AGOA accords duty-free treatment to virtually all products exported by beneficiary sub-Saharan (SSA) countries to the United States. AGOA provides beneficiary countries with the most liberal access to the United States market accorded to any country or region that has not negotiated a free trade agreement with the United States.

The AGOA bill which was enacted in 2000 originally expired on September 30, 2008 but as a result of the July 13, 2004 signing of the AGOA Acceleration Act of 2004, AGOA has been extended until September 30, 2015.

AGOA benefits are currently extended to 37 SSA countries and to more than 1,800 tariff line items in addition to the 4,600 items already enjoying duty-free status under the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program. AGOA has added to the list of duty-free products such major import-sensitive items as apparel, footwear, luggage, handbags and watches.