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African Growth and Opportunity Act
AGOA was originally approved as part of the Trade and Development Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-200) and has been amended numerous times thereafter. The text shown here is as codified in Chapter 23 of Title 19 of the U.S. Code.

 

 

In addition to theprovisions shopwn here, AGOA provides for duty-free imports of most products. Those provisions are codified in a separate chapter of Title 19.


See also the CENTRAL guide to Preferences and Regional Trade Agreements.

See also other U.S. preferential programs:

 

 

 

 


SUBCHAPTER I—TRADE POLICY FOR SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

§3701. Findings

Congress finds that—

(1) it is in the mutual interest of the United States and the countries of sub-Saharan Africa to promote stable and sustainable economic growth and development in sub-Saharan Africa;

(2) the 48 countries of sub-Saharan Africa form a region richly endowed with both natural and human resources;

(3) sub-Saharan Africa represents a region of enormous economic potential and of enduring political significance to the United States;

(4) the region has experienced the strengthening of democracy as countries in sub-Saharan Africa have taken steps to encourage broader participation in the political process;

(5) certain countries in sub-Saharan Africa have increased their economic growth rates, taken significant steps towards liberalizing their economies, and made progress toward regional economic integration that can have positive benefits for the region;

(6) despite those gains, the per capita income in sub-Saharan Africa averages approximately $500 annually;

(7) trade and investment, as the American experience has shown, can represent powerful tools both for economic development and for encouraging broader participation in a political process in which political freedom can flourish;

(8) increased trade and investment flows have the greatest impact in an economic environment in which trading partners eliminate barriers to trade and capital flows and encourage the development of a vibrant private sector that offers individual African citizens the freedom to expand their economic opportunities and provide for their families;

(9) offering the countries of sub-Saharan Africa enhanced trade preferences will encourage both higher levels of trade and direct investment in support of the positive economic and political developments under way throughout the region; and

(10) encouraging the reciprocal reduction of trade and investment barriers in Africa will enhance the benefits of trade and investment for the region as well as enhance commercial and political ties between the United States and sub-Saharan Africa.

 

§3702. Statement of policy

Congress supports—

(1) encouraging increased trade and investment between the United States and sub-Saharan Africa;

(2) reducing tariff and nontariff barriers and other obstacles to sub-Saharan African and United States trade;

(3) expanding United States assistance to sub-Saharan Africa's regional integration efforts;

(4) negotiating reciprocal and mutually beneficial trade agreements, including the possibility of establishing free trade areas that serve the interests of both the United States and the countries of sub-Saharan Africa;

(5) focusing on countries committed to the rule of law, economic reform, and the eradication of poverty;

(6) strengthening and expanding the private sector in sub-Saharan Africa, especially enterprises owned by women and small businesses;

(7) facilitating the development of civil societies and political freedom in sub-Saharan Africa;

(8) establishing a United States-Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum; and

(9) the accession of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

 

§3703. Eligibility requirements

(a) In general

The President is authorized to designate a sub-Saharan African country as an eligible sub-Saharan African country if the President determines that the country—

(1) has established, or is making continual progress toward establishing—

(A) a market-based economy that protects private property rights, incorporates an open rules-based trading system, and minimizes government interference in the economy through measures such as price controls, subsidies, and government ownership of economic assets;

(B) the rule of law, political pluralism, and the right to due process, a fair trial, and equal protection under the law;

(C) the elimination of barriers to United States trade and investment, including by—

(i) the provision of national treatment and measures to create an environment conducive to domestic and foreign investment;

(ii) the protection of intellectual property; and

(iii) the resolution of bilateral trade and investment disputes;

(D) economic policies to reduce poverty, increase the availability of health care and educational opportunities, expand physical infrastructure, promote the development of private enterprise, and encourage the formation of capital markets through micro-credit or other programs;

(E) a system to combat corruption and bribery, such as signing and implementing the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions; and

(F) protection of internationally recognized worker rights, including the right of association, the right to organize and bargain collectively, a prohibition on the use of any form of forced or compulsory labor, a minimum age for the employment of children, and acceptable conditions of work with respect to minimum wages, hours of work, and occupational safety and health;

(2) does not engage in activities that undermine United States national security or foreign policy interests; and

(3) does not engage in gross violations of internationally recognized human rights or provide support for acts of international terrorism and cooperates in international efforts to eliminate human rights violations and terrorist activities.

(b) Continuing compliance

If the President determines that an eligible sub-Saharan African country is not making continual progress in meeting the requirements described in subsection (a)(1) of this section, the President shall terminate the designation of the country made pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.

 

§3704. United States-Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum

(a) Declaration of policy

The President shall convene annual high-level meetings between appropriate officials of the United States Government and officials of the governments of sub-Saharan African countries in order to foster close economic ties between the United States and sub-Saharan Africa.

(b) Establishment

Not later than 12 months after May 18, 2000, the President, after consulting with Congress and the governments concerned, shall establish a United States-Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum (in this section referred to as the “Forum”).

(c) Requirements

In creating the Forum, the President shall meet the following requirements:

(1) The President shall direct the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of State, and the United States Trade Representative to host the first annual meeting with their counterparts from the governments of sub-Saharan African countries eligible under section 3703 of this title, and those sub-Saharan African countries that the President determines are taking substantial positive steps towards meeting the eligibility requirements in section 3703 of this title. The purpose of the meeting shall be to discuss expanding trade and investment relations between the United States and sub-Saharan Africa and the implementation of this chapter including encouraging joint ventures between small and large businesses. The President shall also direct the Secretaries and the United States Trade Representative to invite to the meeting representatives from appropriate sub-Saharan African regional organizations and government officials from other appropriate countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

(2)(A) The President, in consultation with the Congress, shall encourage United States nongovernmental organizations to host annual meetings with nongovernmental organizations from sub-Saharan Africa in conjunction with the annual meetings of the Forum for the purpose of discussing the issues described in paragraph (1).

(B) The President, in consultation with the Congress, shall encourage United States representatives of the private sector to host annual meetings with representatives of the private sector from sub-Saharan Africa in conjunction with the annual meetings of the Forum for the purpose of discussing the issues described in paragraph (1).

(3) The President shall, to the extent practicable, meet with the heads of governments of sub-Saharan African countries eligible under section 3703 of this title, and those sub-Saharan African countries that the President determines are taking substantial positive steps toward meeting the eligibility requirements in section 3703 of this title, not less than once every 2 years for the purpose of discussing the issues described in paragraph (1). The first such meeting should take place not later than 12 months after May 18, 2000.

(d) Dissemination of information by USIS

In order to assist in carrying out the purposes of the Forum, the United States Information Service shall disseminate regularly, through multiple media, economic information in support of the free market economic reforms described in this chapter.

(e) HIV/AIDS effect on the sub-Saharan African workforce

In selecting issues of common interest to the United States-Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum, the President shall instruct the United States delegates to the Forum to promote a review by the Forum of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in each sub-Saharan African country and the effect of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on economic development in each country.

 

§3705. Reporting requirement

The President shall submit to the Congress, not later than 1 year after May 18, 2000, and annually thereafter through 2008, a comprehensive report on the trade and investment policy of the United States for sub-Saharan Africa, and on the implementation of this chapter and the amendments made by this chapter.

 

§3706. Sub-Saharan Africa defined

For purposes of this chapter, the terms “sub-Saharan Africa”, “sub-Saharan African country”, “country in sub-Saharan Africa”, and “countries in sub-Saharan Africa” refer to the following or any successor political entities:

Republic of Angola (Angola).

Republic of Benin (Benin).

Republic of Botswana (Botswana).

Burkina Faso (Burkina).

Republic of Burundi (Burundi).

Republic of Cameroon (Cameroon).

Republic of Cape Verde (Cape Verde).

Central African Republic.

Republic of Chad (Chad).

Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros (Comoros).

Democratic Republic of Congo.

Republic of the Congo (Congo).

Republic of Côte d'Ivoire (Côte d'Ivoire).

Republic of Djibouti (Djibouti).

Republic of Equatorial Guinea (Equatorial Guinea).

State of Eritrea (Eritrea).

Ethiopia.

Gabonese Republic (Gabon).

Republic of the Gambia (Gambia).

Republic of Ghana (Ghana).

Republic of Guinea (Guinea).

Republic of Guinea-Bissau (Guinea-Bissau).

Republic of Kenya (Kenya).

Kingdom of Lesotho (Lesotho).

Republic of Liberia (Liberia).

Republic of Madagascar (Madagascar).

Republic of Malawi (Malawi).

Republic of Mali (Mali).

Islamic Republic of Mauritania (Mauritania).

Republic of Mauritius (Mauritius).

Republic of Mozambique (Mozambique).

Republic of Namibia (Namibia).

Republic of Niger (Niger).

Federal Republic of Nigeria (Nigeria).

Republic of Rwanda (Rwanda).

Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe (Sao Tome and Principe).

Republic of Senegal (Senegal).

Republic of Seychelles (Seychelles).

Republic of Sierra Leone (Sierra Leone).

Somalia.

Republic of South Africa (South Africa).

Republic of Sudan (Sudan).

Kingdom of Swaziland (Swaziland).

United Republic of Tanzania (Tanzania).

Republic of Togo (Togo).

Republic of Uganda (Uganda).

Republic of Zambia (Zambia).

Republic of Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe).

 

SUBCHAPTER II—TRADE BENEFITS

§3721. Treatment of certain textiles and apparel

(a) Preferential treatment

Textile and apparel articles described in subsection (b) of this section that are imported directly into the customs territory of the United States from a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country described in section 2466a(c) of this title, shall enter the United States free of duty and free of any quantitative limitations in accordance with the provisions set forth in subsection (b) of this section, if the country has satisfied the requirements set forth in section 3722 of this title.

(b) Products covered

Subject to subsection (c), the preferential treatment described in subsection (a) of this section shall apply only to the following textile and apparel products:

(1) Apparel articles assembled in one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries

Apparel articles sewn or otherwise assembled in one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries from fabrics wholly formed and cut, or from components knit-to-shape, in the United States from yarns wholly formed in the United States, or both (including fabrics not formed from yarns, if such fabrics are classifiable under heading 5602 or 5603 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States and are wholly formed and cut in the United States) that are—

(A) entered under subheading 9802.00.80 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States; or

(B) entered under chapter 61 or 62 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, if, after such assembly, the articles would have qualified for entry under subheading 9802.00.80 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States but for the fact that the articles were embroidered or subjected to stone-washing, enzyme-washing, acid washing, perma-pressing, oven-baking, bleaching, garment-dyeing, screen printing, or other similar processes.

(2) Other apparel articles assembled in one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries

Apparel articles sewn or otherwise assembled in one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries with thread formed in the United States from fabrics wholly formed in the United States and cut in one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries from yarns wholly formed in the United States, or from components knit-to-shape in the United States from yarns wholly formed in the United States, or both (including fabrics not formed from yarns, if such fabrics are classifiable under heading 5602 or 5603 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States and are wholly formed in the United States).

(3) Apparel articles from regional fabric or yarns

Apparel articles wholly assembled in one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries from fabric wholly formed in one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries from yarns originating in the United States or one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries or former beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries, or both (including fabrics not formed from yarns, if such fabrics are classified under heading 5602 or 5603 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States and are wholly formed in one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries), or from components knit-to-shape in one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries from yarns originating in the United States or one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries or former beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries, or both, or apparel articles wholly formed on seamless knitting machines in a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country from yarns originating in the United States or one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries or former beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries, or both, whether or not the apparel articles are also made from any of the fabrics, fabric components formed, or components knit-to-shape described in paragraph (1) or (2) (unless the apparel articles are made exclusively from any of the fabrics, fabric components formed, or components knit-to-shape described in paragraph (1) or (2)), subject to the following:

(A) Limitations on benefits

(i) In general

Preferential treatment under this paragraph shall be extended in the 1-year period beginning October 1, 2003, and in each of the 11 succeeding 1-year periods, to imports of apparel articles in an amount not to exceed the applicable percentage of the aggregate square meter equivalents of all apparel articles imported into the United States in the preceding 12-month period for which data are available.

(ii) Applicable percentage

For purposes of this subparagraph, the term “applicable percentage” means—

(I) 4.747 percent for the 1-year period beginning October 1, 2003, increased in each of the 5 succeeding 1-year periods by equal increments, so that for the 1-year period beginning October 1, 2007, the applicable percentage does not exceed 7 percent; and

(II) for each succeeding 1-year period until September 30, 2015, not to exceed 7 percent.

(B) Surge mechanism

(i) Import monitoring

The Secretary of Commerce shall monitor imports of articles described in this paragraph on a monthly basis to determine if there has been a surge in imports of such articles. In order to permit public access to preliminary international trade data and to facilitate the early identification of potentially disruptive import surges, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget may grant an exception to the publication dates established for the release of data on United States international trade in covered articles, if the Director notifies Congress of the early release of the data.

(ii) Determination of damage or threat thereof

Whenever the Secretary of Commerce determines, based on the data described in clause (i), or pursuant to a written request made by an interested party, that there has been a surge in imports of an article described in this paragraph from a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country, the Secretary shall determine whether such article from such country is being imported in such increased quantities as to cause serious damage, or threat thereof, to the domestic industry producing a like or directly competitive article. If the Secretary's determination is affirmative, the President shall suspend the duty-free treatment provided for such article under this paragraph. If the inquiry is initiated at the request of an interested party, the Secretary shall make the determination within 60 days after the date of the request.

(iii) Factors to consider

In determining whether a domestic industry has been seriously damaged, or is threatened with serious damage, the Secretary shall examine the effect of the imports on relevant economic indicators such as domestic production, sales, market share, capacity utilization, inventories, employment, profits, exports, prices, and investment.

(iv) Procedure

(I) Initiation

The Secretary of Commerce shall initiate an inquiry within 10 days after receiving a written request and supporting information for an inquiry from an interested party. Notice of initiation of an inquiry shall be published in the Federal Register.

(II) Participation by interested parties

The Secretary of Commerce shall establish procedures to ensure participation in the inquiry by interested parties.

(III) Notice of determination

The Secretary shall publish the determination described in clause (ii) in the Federal Register.

(IV) Information available

If relevant information is not available on the record or any party withholds information that has been requested by the Secretary, the Secretary shall make the determination on the basis of the facts available. When the Secretary relies on information submitted in the inquiry as facts available, the Secretary shall, to the extent practicable, corroborate the information from independent sources that are reasonably available to the Secretary.

(v) Interested party

For purposes of this subparagraph, the term “interested party” means any producer of a like or directly competitive article, a certified union or recognized union or group of workers which is representative of an industry engaged in the manufacture, production, or sale in the United States of a like or directly competitive article, a trade or business association representing producers or sellers of like or directly competitive articles, producers engaged in the production of essential inputs for like or directly competitive articles, a certified union or group of workers which is representative of an industry engaged in the manufacture, production, or sale of essential inputs for the like or directly competitive article, or a trade or business association representing companies engaged in the manufacture, production, or sale of such essential inputs.

(4) Sweaters knit-to-shape from cashmere or merino wool

(A) Cashmere

Sweaters, in chief weight of cashmere, knit-to-shape in one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries and classifiable under subheading 6110.10 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States.

(B) Merino wool

Sweaters, 50 percent or more by weight of wool measuring 21.5 microns in diameter or finer, knit-to-shape in one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries.

(5) Apparel articles wholly assembled from fabric or yarn not available in commercial quantities in the United States

(A) In general

Apparel articles that are both cut (or knit-to-shape) and sewn or otherwise assembled in one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries, to the extent that apparel articles of such fabrics or yarns would be eligible for preferential treatment, without regard to the source of the fabrics or yarns, under Annex 401 to the NAFTA.

(B) Additional apparel articles

At the request of any interested party and subject to the following requirements, the President is authorized to proclaim the treatment provided under subparagraph (A) for yarns or fabrics not described in subparagraph (A) if—

(i) the President determines that such yarns or fabrics cannot be supplied by the domestic industry in commercial quantities in a timely manner;

(ii) the President has obtained advice regarding the proposed action from the appropriate advisory committee established under section 2155 of this title and the United States International Trade Commission;

(iii) within 60 calendar days after the request, the President has submitted a report to the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Finance of the Senate that sets forth—

(I) the action proposed to be proclaimed and the reasons for such action; and

(II) the advice obtained under clause (ii);

(iv) a period of 60 calendar days, beginning with the first day on which the President has met the requirements of subclauses (I) and (II) of clause (iii), has expired; and

(v) the President has consulted with such committees regarding the proposed action during the period referred to in clause (iii).

(C) Removal of designation of fabrics or yarns not available in commercial quantities

If the President determines that any fabric or yarn was determined to be eligible for preferential treatment under subparagraph (A) on the basis of fraud, the President is authorized to remove that designation from that fabric or yarn with respect to articles entered after such removal.

(6) Handloomed, handmade, folklore articles and ethnic printed fabrics

(A) In general

A handloomed, handmade, folklore article or an ethnic printed fabric of a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country or countries that is certified as such by the competent authority of such beneficiary country or countries. For purposes of this section, the President, after consultation with the beneficiary sub-Saharan African country or countries concerned, shall determine which, if any, particular textile and apparel goods of the country (or countries) shall be treated as being handloomed, handmade, or folklore articles or an ethnic printed fabric.

(B) Requirements for ethnic printed fabric

Ethnic printed fabrics qualified under this paragraph are—

(i) fabrics containing a selvedge on both edges, having a width of less than 50 inches, classifiable under subheading 5208.52.30 or 5208.52.40 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States;

(ii) of the type that contains designs, symbols, and other characteristics of African prints—

(I) normally produced for and sold on the indigenous African market; and

(II) normally sold in Africa by the piece as opposed to being tailored into garments before being sold in indigenous African markets;

(iii) printed, including waxed, in one or more eligible beneficiary sub-Saharan countries; and

(iv) fabrics formed in the United States, from yarns formed in the United States, or from fabric formed in one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African country from yarn originating in either the United States or one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries.

(7) Apparel articles assembled in one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries from United States and beneficiary sub-Saharan African country components

Apparel articles sewn or otherwise assembled in one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries with thread formed in the United States from components cut in the United States and one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries or former beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries from fabric wholly formed in the United States from yarns wholly formed in the United States, or from components knit-to-shape in the United States and one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries or former beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries from yarns wholly formed in the United States, or both (including fabrics not formed from yarns, if such fabrics are classifiable under heading 5602 or 5603 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States).

(8) Textile articles originating entirely in one or more lesser developed beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries

Textile and textile articles classifiable under chapters 50 through 60 or chapter 63 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States that are products of a lesser developed beneficiary sub-Saharan African country and are wholly formed in one or more such countries from fibers, yarns, fabrics, fabric components, or components knit-to-shape that are the product of one or more such countries.

(c) Lesser developed countries

(1) Preferential treatment of products through September 30, 2012

(A) Products covered

In addition to the products described in subsection (b) 1 the preferential treatment described in subsection (a) shall apply through September 30, 2012, to apparel articles wholly assembled, or knit-to-shape and wholly assembled, or both, in one or more lesser developed beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries, regardless of the country of origin of the fabric or the yarn used to make such articles, in an amount not to exceed the applicable percentage of the aggregate square meter equivalents of all apparel articles imported into the United States in the preceding 12-month period for which data are available.

(B) Applicable percentage

For purposes of subparagraph (A), the term “applicable percentage” means—

(i) 2.9285 percent for the 1-year period beginning on October 1, 2005; and

(ii) 3.5 percent for the 1-year period beginning on October 1, 2006, and each 1-year period thereafter through September 30, 2012.

(2) Applicability of other provisions

Subsection (b)(3)(B) applies to apparel articles eligible for preferential treatment under this subsection to the same extent as that subsection applies to apparel articles eligible for preferential treatment under subsection (b)(3).

(3) Definition

In this subsection, the term “lesser developed beneficiary sub-Saharan African country” means—

(A) a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country that had a per capita gross national product of less than $1,500 in 1998, as measured by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development;

(B) Botswana;

(C) Namibia; and

(D) Mauritius.

(d) Treatment of quotas on textile and apparel imports from Kenya and Mauritius

The President shall eliminate the existing quotas on textile and apparel articles imported into the United States—

(1) from Kenya within 30 days after that country adopts an effective visa system to prevent unlawful transshipment of textile and apparel articles and the use of counterfeit documents relating to the importation of the articles into the United States; and

(2) from Mauritius within 30 days after that country adopts such a visa system.

The Customs Service shall provide the necessary technical assistance to Kenya and Mauritius in the development and implementation of the visa systems.

(e) Special rules

(1) Findings and trimmings

(A) General rule

An article otherwise eligible for preferential treatment under this section shall not be ineligible for such treatment because the article contains findings or trimmings of foreign origin, if the value of such findings and trimmings do not exceed 25 percent of the cost of the components of the assembled article. Examples of findings and trimmings are sewing thread, hooks and eyes, snaps, buttons, “bow buds”, decorative lace trim, elastic strips, and zippers, including zipper tapes and labels. Elastic strips are considered findings or trimmings only if they are each less than 1 inch in width and used in the production of brassieres.

(B) Certain interlinings

(i) General rule

An article otherwise eligible for preferential treatment under this section shall not be ineligible for such treatment because the article contains certain interlinings of foreign origin, if the value of such interlinings (and any findings and trimmings) does not exceed 25 percent of the cost of the components of the assembled article.

(ii) Interlinings described

Interlinings eligible for the treatment described in clause (i) include only a chest type plate, a “hymo” piece, or “sleeve header”, of woven or weft-inserted warp knit construction and of coarse animal hair or man-made filaments.

(iii) Termination of treatment

The treatment described in this subparagraph shall terminate if the President makes a determination that United States manufacturers are producing such interlinings in the United States in commercial quantities.

(C) Exception

In the case of an article described in subsection (b)(2) of this section, sewing thread shall not be treated as findings or trimmings under subparagraph (A).

(2) De minimis rule

An article otherwise eligible for preferential treatment under this section shall not be ineligible for such treatment because the article contains fibers or yarns not wholly formed in the United States or one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries or former beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries if the total weight of all such fibers and yarns is not more than 10 percent of the total weight of the article.

(3) Certain components

An article otherwise eligible for preferential treatment under this section will not be ineligible for such treatment because the article contains—

(A) any collars or cuffs (cut or knit-to-shape),

(B) drawstrings,

(C) shoulder pads or other padding,

(D) waistbands,

(E) belt attached to the article,

(F) straps containing elastic, or

(G) elbow patches,

that do not meet the requirements set forth in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, regardless of the country of origin of the item referred to in the applicable subparagraph of this paragraph.

(f) Definitions

In this section and section 3722 of this title:

(1) Agreement on textiles and clothing

The term “Agreement on Textiles and Clothing” means the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing referred to in section 3511(d)(4) of this title.

(2) Beneficiary sub-Saharan African country, etc.

The terms “beneficiary sub-Saharan African country” and “beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries” have the same meaning as such terms have under section 2466a(c) of this title.

(3) NAFTA

The term “NAFTA” means the North American Free Trade Agreement entered into between the United States, Mexico, and Canada on December 17, 1992.

(4) Former sub-Saharan African country

The term “former sub-Saharan African country” means a country that, after being designated as a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country under this chapter, ceased to be designated as such a beneficiary sub-Saharan country by reason of its entering into a free trade agreement with the United States.

(5) Enter; entered

The terms “enter” and “entered” refer to the entry, or withdrawal from warehouse for consumption, in the customs territory of the United States.

(g) Effective date

This section takes effect on October 1, 2000, and shall remain in effect through September 30, 2015.

 

§3722. Protections against transshipment

(a) Preferential treatment conditioned on enforcement measures

(1) In general

The preferential treatment under section 3721(a) of this title shall not be provided to textile and apparel articles that are imported from a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country unless that country—

(A) has adopted an effective visa system, domestic laws, and enforcement procedures applicable to covered articles to prevent unlawful transshipment of the articles and the use of counterfeit documents relating to the importation of the articles into the United States;

(B) has enacted legislation or promulgated regulations that would permit United States Customs Service verification teams to have the access necessary to investigate thoroughly allegations of transshipment through such country;

(C) agrees to report, on a timely basis, at the request of the United States Customs Service, on the total exports from and imports into that country of covered articles, consistent with the manner in which the records are kept by that country;

(D) will cooperate fully with the United States to address and take action necessary to prevent circumvention as provided in Article 5 of the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing;

(E) agrees to require all producers and exporters of covered articles in that country to maintain complete records of the production and the export of covered articles, including materials used in the production, for at least 2 years after the production or export (as the case may be); and

(F) agrees to report, on a timely basis, at the request of the United States Customs Service, documentation establishing the country of origin of covered articles as used by that country in implementing an effective visa system.

(2) Country of origin documentation

For purposes of paragraph (1)(F), documentation regarding the country of origin of the covered articles includes documentation such as production records, information relating to the place of production, the number and identification of the types of machinery used in production, the number of workers employed in production, and certification from both the manufacturer and the exporter.

(b) Customs procedures and enforcement

(1) In general

(A) Regulations

Any importer that claims preferential treatment under section 3721 of this title shall comply with customs procedures similar in all material respects to the requirements of Article 502(1) of the NAFTA as implemented pursuant to United States law, in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Secretary of the Treasury.

(B) Determination

(i) In general

In order to qualify for the preferential treatment under section 3721 of this title and for a Certificate of Origin to be valid with respect to any article for which such treatment is claimed, there shall be in effect a determination by the President that each country described in clause (ii)—

(I) has implemented and follows; or

(II) is making substantial progress toward implementing and following, procedures and requirements similar in all material respects to the relevant procedures and requirements under chapter 5 of the NAFTA.

(ii) Country described

A country is described in this clause if it is a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country—

(I) from which the article is exported; or

(II) in which materials used in the production of the article originate or in which the article or such materials, undergo production that contributes to a claim that the article is eligible for preferential treatment.

(2) Certificate of Origin

The Certificate of Origin that otherwise would be required pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (1) shall not be required in the case of an article imported under section 3721 of this title if such Certificate of Origin would not be required under Article 503 of the NAFTA (as implemented pursuant to United States law), if the article were imported from Mexico.

(3) Penalties for exporters

If the President determines, based on sufficient evidence, that an exporter has engaged in transshipment as defined in paragraph (4), then the President shall deny for a period of 5 years all benefits under section 3721 of this title to such exporter, any successor of such exporter, and any other entity owned or operated by the principal of the exporter.

(4) Transshipment described

Transshipment within the meaning of this subsection has occurred when preferential treatment for a textile or apparel article under this chapter 1 has been claimed on the basis of material false information concerning the country of origin, manufacture, processing, or assembly of the article or any of its components. For purposes of this paragraph, false information is material if disclosure of the true information would mean or would have meant that the article is or was ineligible for preferential treatment under section 3721 of this title.

(5) Monitoring and reports to Congress

The Customs Service shall monitor and the Commissioner of Customs shall submit to Congress, not later than March 31 of each year, a report on the effectiveness of the visa systems and the implementation of legislation and regulations described in subsection (a) of this section and on measures taken by countries in sub-Saharan Africa which export textiles or apparel to the United States to prevent circumvention as described in Article 5 of the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing.

(c) Customs Service enforcement

The Customs Service shall—

(1) make available technical assistance to the beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries—

(A) in the development and implementation of visa systems, legislation, and regulations described in subsection (a)(1)(A) of this section; and

(B) to train their officials in anti-transshipment enforcement;

(2) send production verification teams to at least four beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries each year; and

(3) to the extent feasible, place beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries on the Electronic Visa (ELVIS) program.

(d) Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out subsection (c) of this section the sum of $5,894,913.

 

§3723. Free trade agreements with sub-Saharan African countries

(a) Declaration of policy

Congress declares that free trade agreements should be negotiated, where feasible, with interested countries in sub-Saharan Africa, in order to serve as the catalyst for increasing trade between the United States and sub-Saharan Africa and increasing private sector investment in sub-Saharan Africa.

(b) Plan requirement

(1) In general

The President, taking into account the provisions of the treaty establishing the African Economic Community and the willingness of the governments of sub-Saharan African countries to engage in negotiations to enter into free trade agreements, shall develop a plan for the purpose of negotiating and entering into one or more trade agreements with interested beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries.

(2) Elements of plan

The plan shall include the following:

(A) The specific objectives of the United States with respect to negotiations described in paragraph (1) and a suggested timetable for achieving those objectives.

(B) The benefits to both the United States and the relevant sub-Saharan African countries with respect to the applicable free trade agreement or agreements.

(C) A mutually agreed-upon timetable for the negotiations.

(D) The implications for and the role of regional and sub-regional organizations in sub-Saharan Africa with respect to such free trade agreement or agreements.

(E) Subject matter anticipated to be covered by the negotiations and United States laws, programs, and policies, as well as the laws of participating eligible African countries and existing bilateral and multilateral and economic cooperation and trade agreements, that may be affected by the agreement or agreements.

(F) Procedures to ensure the following:

(i) Adequate consultation with the Congress and the private sector during the negotiations.

(ii) Consultation with the Congress regarding all matters relating to implementation of the agreement or agreements.

(iii) Approval by the Congress of the agreement or agreements.

(iv) Adequate consultations with the relevant African governments and African regional and subregional intergovernmental organizations during the negotiation of the agreement or agreements.

(c) Reporting requirement

Not later than 12 months after May 18, 2000, the President shall prepare and transmit to the Congress a report containing the plan developed pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.

 

§3724. Assistant United States Trade Representative for African Affairs

It is the sense of the Congress that—

(1) the position of Assistant United States Trade Representative for African Affairs is integral to the United States commitment to increasing United States-sub-Saharan African trade and investment;

(2) the position of Assistant United States Trade Representative for African Affairs should be maintained within the Office of the United States Trade Representative to direct and coordinate interagency activities on United States-Africa trade policy and investment matters and serve as—

(A) a primary point of contact in the executive branch for those persons engaged in trade between the United States and sub-Saharan Africa; and

(B) the chief advisor to the United States Trade Representative on issues of trade and investment with Africa; and

(3) the United States Trade Representative should have adequate funding and staff to carry out the duties of the Assistant United States Trade Representative for African Affairs described in paragraph (2), subject to the availability of appropriations.

 

SUBCHAPTER III—ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT RELATED ISSUES

§3731. Sense of the Congress regarding comprehensive debt relief for the world's poorest countries

(a) Findings

Congress makes the following findings:

(1) The burden of external debt has become a major impediment to economic growth and poverty reduction in many of the world's poorest countries.

(2) Until recently, the United States Government and other official creditors sought to address this problem by rescheduling loans and in some cases providing limited debt reduction.

(3) Despite such efforts, the cumulative debt of many of the world's poorest countries continued to grow beyond their capacity to repay.

(4) In 1997, the Group of Seven, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund adopted the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC), a commitment by the international community that all multilateral and bilateral creditors, acting in a coordinated and concerted fashion, would reduce poor country debt to a sustainable level.

(5) The HIPC Initiative is currently undergoing reforms to address concerns raised about country conditionality, the amount of debt forgiven, and the allocation of savings realized through the debt forgiveness program to ensure that the Initiative accomplishes the goals of economic growth and poverty alleviation in the world's poorest countries.

(b) Sense of the Congress

It is the sense of the Congress that—

(1) Congress and the President should work together, without undue delay and in concert with the international community, to make comprehensive debt relief available to the world's poorest countries in a manner that promotes economic growth and poverty alleviation;

(2) this program of bilateral and multilateral debt relief should be designed to strengthen and expand the private sector, encourage increased trade and investment, support the development of free markets, and promote broad-scale economic growth in beneficiary countries;

(3) this program of debt relief should also support the adoption of policies to alleviate poverty and to ensure that benefits are shared widely among the population, such as through initiatives to advance education, improve health, combat AIDS, and promote clean water and environmental protection;

(4) these debt relief agreements should be designed and implemented in a transparent manner and with the broad participation of the citizenry of the debtor country and should ensure that country circumstances are adequately taken into account;

(5) no country should receive the benefits of debt relief if that country does not cooperate with the United States on terrorism or narcotics enforcement, is a gross violator of the human rights of its citizens, or is engaged in conflict or spends excessively on its military; and

(6) in order to prevent adverse impact on a key industry in many developing countries, the International Monetary Fund must mobilize its own resources for providing debt relief to eligible countries without allowing gold to reach the open market, or otherwise adversely affecting the market price of gold.

 

§3732. Executive branch initiatives

(a) Statement of the Congress

The Congress recognizes that the stated policy of the executive branch in 1997, the “Partnership for Growth and Opportunity in Africa” initiative, is a step toward the establishment of a comprehensive trade and development policy for sub-Saharan Africa. It is the sense of the Congress that this Partnership is a companion to the policy goals set forth in this chapter.

(b) Technical assistance to promote economic reforms and development

In addition to continuing bilateral and multilateral economic and development assistance, the President shall target technical assistance toward—

(1) developing relationships between United States firms and firms in sub-Saharan Africa through a variety of business associations and networks;

(2) providing assistance to the governments of sub-Saharan African countries to—

(A) liberalize trade and promote exports;

(B) bring their legal regimes into compliance with the standards of the World Trade Organization in conjunction with membership in that Organization;

(C) make financial and fiscal reforms; and

(D) promote greater agribusiness linkages;

(3) addressing such critical agricultural policy issues as market liberalization, agricultural export development, and agribusiness investment in processing and transporting agricultural commodities;

(4) increasing the number of reverse trade missions to growth-oriented countries in sub-Saharan Africa;

(5) increasing trade in services; and

(6) encouraging greater sub-Saharan African participation in future negotiations in the World Trade Organization on services and making further commitments in their schedules to the General Agreement on Trade in Services in order to encourage the removal of tariff and nontariff barriers.

 

§3733. Overseas Private Investment Corporation initiatives

(a) Initiation of funds

It is the sense of the Congress that the Overseas Private Investment Corporation should exercise the authorities it has to initiate an equity fund or equity funds in support of projects in the countries in sub-Saharan Africa, in addition to the existing equity fund for sub-Saharan Africa created by the Corporation.

(b) Structure and types of funds

(1) Structure

Each fund initiated under subsection (a) of this section should be structured as a partnership managed by professional private sector fund managers and monitored on a continuing basis by the Corporation.

(2) Capitalization

Each fund should be capitalized with a combination of private equity capital, which is not guaranteed by the Corporation, and debt for which the Corporation provides guaranties.

(3) Infrastructure fund

One or more of the funds, with combined assets of up to $500,000,000, should be used in support of infrastructure projects in countries of sub-Saharan Africa.

(4) Emphasis

The Corporation shall ensure that the funds are used to provide support in particular to women entrepreneurs and to innovative investments that expand opportunities for women and maximize employment opportunities for poor individuals.

(c) Overseas Private Investment Corporation

(1) Omitted

(2) Reports to Congress

Within 6 months after May 18, 2000, and annually for each of the 4 years thereafter, the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation shall submit to Congress a report on the steps that the Board has taken to implement section 2193(e) of title 22 and any recommendations of the investment advisory council established pursuant to such section.

 

§3734. Export-Import Bank initiatives

(a) Sense of the Congress

It is the sense of the Congress that the Board of Directors of the Bank shall continue to take comprehensive measures, consistent with the credit standards otherwise required by law, to promote the expansion of the Bank's financial commitments in sub-Saharan Africa under the loan, guarantee and insurance programs of the Bank.

(b) Sub-Saharan Africa Advisory Committee

The sub-Saharan Africa Advisory Committee (SAAC) is to be commended for aiding the Bank in advancing the economic partnership between the United States and the nations of sub-Saharan Africa by doubling the number of sub-Saharan African countries in which the Bank is open for traditional financing and by increasing by tenfold the Bank's support for sales to sub-Saharan Africa from fiscal year 1998 to fiscal year 1999. The Board of Directors of the Bank and its staff shall continue to review carefully the sub-Saharan Africa Advisory Committee recommendations on the development and implementation of new and innovative policies and programs designed to promote the Bank's expansion in sub-Saharan Africa.

 

§3735. Expansion of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service in sub-Saharan Africa

(a) Findings

The Congress makes the following findings:

(1) The United States and Foreign Commercial Service (hereafter in this section referred to as the “Commercial Service”) plays an important role in helping United States businesses identify export opportunities and develop reliable sources of information on commercial prospects in foreign countries.

(2) During the 1980s, the presence of the Commercial Service in sub-Saharan Africa consisted of 14 professionals providing services in eight countries. By early 1997, that presence had been reduced by half to seven professionals in only four countries.

(3) Since 1997, the Department of Commerce has slowly begun to increase the presence of the Commercial Service in sub-Saharan Africa, adding five full-time officers to established posts.

(4) Although the Commercial Service Officers in these countries have regional responsibilities, this kind of coverage does not adequately service the needs of United States businesses attempting to do business in sub-Saharan Africa.

(5) The Congress has, on several occasions, encouraged the Commercial Service to focus its resources and efforts in countries or regions in Europe or Asia to promote greater United States export activity in those markets, and similar encouragement should be provided for countries in sub-Saharan Africa as well.

(6) Because market information is not widely available in many sub-Saharan African countries, the presence of additional Commercial Service Officers and resources can play a significant role in assisting United States businesses in markets in those countries.

(b) Appointments

Subject to the availability of appropriations, by not later than December 31, 2001, the Secretary of Commerce, acting through the Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Director General of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service, shall take steps to ensure that—

(1) at least 20 full-time Commercial Service employees are stationed in sub-Saharan Africa; and

(2) full-time Commercial Service employees are stationed in not less than 10 different sub-Saharan African countries.

(c) Initiative for sub-Saharan Africa

In order to encourage the export of United States goods and services to sub-Saharan African countries, the International Trade Administration shall make a special effort to—

(1) identify United States goods and services which are the best prospects for export by United States companies to sub-Saharan Africa;

(2) identify, where appropriate, tariff and nontariff barriers that are preventing or hindering sales of United States goods and services to, or the operation of United States companies in, sub-Saharan Africa;

(3) hold discussions with appropriate authorities in sub-Saharan Africa on the matters described in paragraphs (1) and (2) with a view to securing increased market access for United States exporters of goods and services;

(4) identify current resource allocations and personnel levels in sub-Saharan Africa for the Commercial Service and consider plans for the deployment of additional resources or personnel to that region; and

(5) make available to the public, through printed and electronic means of communication, the information derived pursuant to paragraphs (1) through (4) for each of the 4 years after May 18, 2000.

 

§3736. Donation of air traffic control equipment to eligible sub-Saharan African countries

It is the sense of the Congress that, to the extent appropriate, the United States Government should make every effort to donate to governments of sub-Saharan African countries determined to be eligible under section 3703 of this title air traffic control equipment that is no longer in use, including appropriate related reimbursable technical assistance.

 

§3737. Additional authorities and increased flexibility to provide assistance under the Development Fund for Africa

(a) Use of sustainable development assistance to support further economic growth

It is the sense of the Congress that sustained economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa depends in large measure upon the development of a receptive environment for trade and investment, and that to achieve this objective the United States Agency for International Development should continue to support programs which help to create this environment. Investments in human resources, development, and implementation of free market policies, including policies to liberalize agricultural markets and improve food security, and the support for the rule of law and democratic governance should continue to be encouraged and enhanced on a bilateral and regional basis.

(b) Declarations of policy

The Congress makes the following declarations:

(1) The Development Fund for Africa established under chapter 10 of part I of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2293 et seq.) has been an effective tool in providing development assistance to sub-Saharan Africa since 1988.

(2) The Development Fund for Africa will complement the other provisions of this chapter and lay a foundation for increased trade and investment opportunities between the United States and sub-Saharan Africa.

(3) Assistance provided through the Development Fund for Africa will continue to support programs and activities that promote the long term economic development of sub-Saharan Africa, such as programs and activities relating to the following:

(A) Strengthening primary and vocational education systems, especially the acquisition of middle-level technical skills for operating modern private businesses and the introduction of college level business education, including the study of international business, finance, and stock exchanges.

(B) Strengthening health care systems.

(C) Supporting democratization, good governance and civil society and conflict resolution efforts.

(D) Increasing food security by promoting the expansion of agricultural and agriculture-based industrial production and productivity and increasing real incomes for poor individuals.

(E) Promoting an enabling environment for private sector-led growth through sustained economic reform, privatization programs, and market-led economic activities.

(F) Promoting decentralization and local participation in the development process, especially linking the rural production sectors and the industrial and market centers throughout Africa.

(G) Increasing the technical and managerial capacity of sub-Saharan African individuals to manage the economy of sub-Saharan Africa.

(H) Ensuring sustainable economic growth through environmental protection.

(4) The African Development Foundation has a unique congressional mandate to empower the poor to participate fully in development and to increase opportunities for gainful employment, poverty alleviation, and more equitable income distribution in sub-Saharan Africa. The African Development Foundation has worked successfully to enhance the role of women as agents of change, strengthen the informal sector with an emphasis on supporting micro and small sized enterprises, indigenous technologies, and mobilizing local financing. The African Development Foundation should develop and implement strategies for promoting participation in the socioeconomic development process of grassroots and informal sector groups such as nongovernmental organizations, cooperatives, artisans, and traders into the programs and initiatives established under this chapter.

 

§3738. Assistance from United States private sector to prevent and reduce HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa

It is the sense of the Congress that United States businesses should be encouraged to provide assistance to sub-Saharan African countries to prevent and reduce the incidence of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. In providing such assistance, United States businesses should be encouraged to consider the establishment of an HIV/AIDS Response Fund in order to provide for coordination among such businesses in the collection and distribution of the assistance to sub-Saharan African countries.

 

§3739. Sense of the Congress relating to HIV/AIDS crisis in sub-Saharan Africa

(a) Findings

The Congress finds the following:

(1) Sustained economic development in sub-Saharan Africa depends in large measure upon successful trade with and foreign assistance to the countries of sub-Saharan Africa.

(2) The HIV/AIDS crisis has reached epidemic proportions in sub-Saharan Africa, where more than 21,000,000 men, women, and children are infected with HIV.

(3) Eighty-three percent of the estimated 11,700,000 deaths from HIV/AIDS worldwide have been in sub-Saharan Africa.

(4) The HIV/AIDS crisis in sub-Saharan Africa is weakening the structure of families and societies.

(5)(A) The HIV/AIDS crisis threatens the future of the workforce in sub-Saharan Africa.

(B) Studies show that HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa most severely affects individuals between the ages of 15 and 49—the age group that provides the most support for the economies of sub-Saharan African countries.

(6) Clear evidence demonstrates that HIV/AIDS is destructive to the economies of sub-Saharan African countries.

(7) Sustained economic development is critical to creating the public and private sector resources in sub-Saharan Africa necessary to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

(b) Sense of the Congress

It is the sense of the Congress that—

(1) addressing the HIV/AIDS crisis in sub-Saharan Africa should be a central component of United States foreign policy with respect to sub-Saharan Africa;

(2) significant progress needs to be made in preventing and treating HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa in order to sustain a mutually beneficial trade relationship between the United States and sub-Saharan African countries; and

(3) the HIV/AIDS crisis in sub-Saharan Africa is a global threat that merits further attention through greatly expanded public, private, and joint public-private efforts, and through appropriate United States legislation.

 

§3740. Study on improving African agricultural practices

(a) In general

The Secretary of Agriculture, in consultation with American Land Grant Colleges and Universities and not-for-profit international organizations, is authorized to conduct a 2-year study on ways to improve the flow of American farming techniques and practices to African farmers. The study shall include an examination of ways of improving or utilizing—

(1) knowledge of insect and sanitation procedures;

(2) modern farming and soil conservation techniques;

(3) modern farming equipment (including maintaining the equipment);

(4) marketing crop yields to prospective purchasers; and

(5) crop maximization practices.

The Secretary of Agriculture shall submit the study to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate and the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives not later than September 30, 2001.

(b) Land Grant Colleges and not-for-profit institutions

In conducting the study under subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary of Agriculture is encouraged to consult with American Land Grant Colleges and not-for-profit international organizations that have firsthand knowledge of current African farming practices.

 

§3741. Sense of the Congress regarding efforts to combat desertification in Africa and other countries

(a) Findings

The Congress finds that—

(1) desertification affects approximately one-sixth of the world's population and one-quarter of the total land area;

(2) over 1,000,000 hectares of Africa are affected by desertification;

(3) dryland degradation is an underlying cause of recurrent famine in Africa;

(4) the United Nations Environment Programme estimates that desertification costs the world $42,000,000,000 a year, not including incalculable costs in human suffering; and

(5) the United States can strengthen its partnerships throughout Africa and other countries affected by desertification, help alleviate social and economic crises caused by misuse of natural resources, and reduce dependence on foreign aid, by taking a leading role to combat desertification.

(b) Sense of the Congress

It is the sense of the Congress that the United States should expeditiously work with the international community, particularly Africa and other countries affected by desertification, to—

(1) strengthen international cooperation to combat desertification;

(2) promote the development of national and regional strategies to address desertification and increase public awareness of this serious problem and its effects;

(3) develop and implement national action programs that identify the causes of desertification and measures to address it; and

(4) recognize the essential role of local governments and nongovernmental organizations in developing and implementing measures to address desertification.