Malagasy citizen Patrick Rasamison says AGOA gives the Malagasy people hope. They are desperate for jobs and the textile industry is one of the largest providers of formal employment. “With AGOA renewal that number [formal employment] will only increase – people want stability,” said World Knits Factory Manager Soodesh Purayanan. World Knits currently employs more than 1,100 Malagasy. They plan to double that employment number when their company expansion is complete in September.
Approximately 22 million people inhabit Madagascar. Of that number, fewer than 1 million are formally employed. Formal employment means health insurance, a stable income, and more opportunities for family members.
The Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, which includes a 10-year extension of AGOA, has been passed by both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. It now awaits signature by President Obama. The 10-year AGOA extension will translate to more formal employment in Madagascar.