The US House of Representatives has passed a bill to extend and modify the trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act, known as AGOA. The bill still needs to pass the Senate before it comes into force.
The bill was initially passed in 2000 to develop a trade relationship between the United States and sub-Saharan African countries. Proponents of AGOA say it has helped create 300-thousand jobs in Africa and led to the investment of some 500 million dollars in AGOA-eligible countries.
If passed by the Senate, during the next three years companies in Africa can export apparel to the United States made with fabric from other countries.
?This is a very important competitive advantage to African apparel producers and we?ve seen a tremendous growth in apparel products in the last two or three years,? said Whitney Schneidman, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. He spoke with Africa Division reporter Cindy Shiner.
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