With attention turned towards the renewal of the African Growth & Opportunity Act
(AGOA), some have called for South Africa to be graduated from the duty preference
program because of its well-developed infrastructure and labor force. Some have also
raised the issue of certain non-tariff barriers said to exist that prevent U.S. companies
from entering the South African market.
Recently, the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) held hearings and invited comments on
AGOA in relation to four investigations covering: (1) AGOA trade and investment performance; (2) the
economic effects of providing duty-free treatment to AGOA-eligible countries; (3) possible changes to
AGOA’s rules of origin to promote regional integration and to increase exports to the U.S.; and 4) the
impact of EU’s free trade agreement with South Africa on U.S. exports.