Summary of AGOA III
TEXT OF AGOA ACCELERATION ACT OF 2004 - AGOA III
TEXT OF AMENDMENT TO AGOA ACCELERATION ACT OF 2004 - GRANTING LESSER DEVELOPED BENEFICIARY COUNTRY STATUS TO MAURITIUS (for the text of the amendment click on link and see pages 162-163 of the "Micsellaneous Trade and Technical Corrections Act of 2004")
SUMMARY OF AGOA ACCELERATION ACT OF 2004 -- AGOA III
By modifying certain provisions of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the AGOA Acceleration Act of 2004 (AGOA III, signed by President Bush on July 12, 2004) extends preferential access for imports from beneficiary Sub Saharan African countries until September 30, 2015; extends third country fabric provision for three years, from September 2004 until September 2007; and provides additional Congressional guidance to the Administration on how to administer the textile provisions of the bill.
These modifications - often collectively referred to in the region as "AGOA III" - are effective on July 13, 2004.
AGOA Acceleration Act of 2004 (AGOA III) Summary:
Extends overall the program from 2008 until 2015.
Extends third country fabric provision for three years, from September 2004 until September 2007, including a phase down in year three. The cap would remain at the full current level available in years one and two. In the third year, the cap would be phased down by 50 percent.
Includes a statement of Congressional policy that textile and apparel provisions under the program should be interpreted in a broad and trade-expanding manner to maximize opportunities for imports from Africa, accompanied by minor technical corrections to reverse restrictive interpretations by Customs officials. These minor technical corrections include a modification to the rule of origin to allow articles assembled either in the United States or Sub-Saharan Africa to qualify for AGOA treatment (hybrid).
Expands current eligibility to allow non-AGOA produced collars, cuffs, drawstrings, padding/shoulder pads, waistbands, belts attached to garments, straps with elastic, and elbow patches for all import categories to be eligible. Also included is the continued use of fabric from AGOA countries that also become free trade partners with the United States.
Increases the De Minimis Rule from its current level of seven percent to 10 percent. This rule states that apparel products assembled in Sub-Saharan Africa which would otherwise be considered eligible for AGOA benefits but for the presence of some fibers or yarns not wholly formed in the United States or the beneficiary Sub-Saharan African country will still be eligible for benefits as long as the total weight of all such fibers and yarns is not more than a certain percent (currently seven percent) of the total weight of the article.
Includes findings and statements of policy about the benefits of AGOA to Africa and supporting various Sub-Saharan Africans efforts such as reducing poverty, promoting peace, attracting investment and trade, and fighting HIV-AIDS.
Provides a Sense of the Congress that Africans should support WTO negotiations and trade liberalization.
Expands the current "folklore" AGOA coverage to include certain machine-made ethnic printed fabric made in Sub-Saharan Africa or the United States.
Encourages bilateral investment agreements.
Directs the Administration to implement an interagency trade advisory committee.
Encourages the development of infrastructure projects that increase trade capacity through the ecotourism industry.
Directs the President to assign personnel for the purpose of providing agricultural technical assistance to select AGOA countries and advising them on improvements in their sanitary and phytosanitary standards to help them meet U.S. requirements.
Promotes investment in infrastructure projects that support the development of land transport, roads, railways, ports, the expansion of modern information and communication technologies, and agriculture.
Facilitates increased coordination between customs services at ports and airports in the United States and Sub-Saharan countries to reduce time in transit and increase efficiency and safety procedures.
Amendment to AGOA Acceleration Act of 2004 Summary:
The "Micsellaneous Trade and Technical Corrections Act of 2004" signed into law on December 3, 2004 includes an amendment to the "AGOA Acceleration Act of 2004." The amendment grants lesser-developed beneficiary country status to Mauritius. This status qualifies the country for the Special Rule for Apparel, allowing Mauritius to use non-U.S. fabric and yarn in apparel wholly assembled in Mauritius and still qualify for duty- and quota-free treatment. The amendment limits Mauritius to a cap of 5% of the Special Rule cap, about 27 million square meter equivalents (SMEs).
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