On November 2, 2021, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced that Guinea, Mali and Ethiopia will be terminated from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) program, effective January 1, 2022, in the absence of urgent internal policy changes.
The administration expressed concern over unconstitutional government changes in Guinea and Mali, and gross violations of internationally recognized human rights being perpetrated by the Government of Ethiopia and other parties amid the widening conflict in northern Ethiopia.
In its announcement, the U.S. has urged these governments to take necessary actions to meet the AGOA statutory criteria. The U.S. announced that it would provide each country with clear benchmarks for a pathway toward reinstatement and work with them to achieve that objective.
The AGOA program provides duty-free access to the U.S. market for goods from most sub-Saharan African countries that meet specified country and product criteria.
Being terminated from the program will result in full duties being assessed on goods from the indicated countries even if the product-specific rules are satisfied.
Should you have any questions regarding this action or other issues involving duty-preference programs, please contact Arthur Bodek or any of our other attorneys.