Togo is the latest African country eligible to enjoy trade benefits under AGOA for textile and apparel products. Togo has adopted an effective visa system and related procedures to prevent the unlawful transshipment of textile and apparel articles and the use of counterfeit documents in connection with the shipment of such articles.
Since AGOA came into effect, regional real GDP in Africa has more than doubled and robust economic growth has helped reduce poverty and raise living standards across the continent. US’ imports of textiles and apparel from AGOA nations last year were just a 1.25 per cent increase over 2015. Nearly 33 per cent of that came from Kenya, followed by Lesotho with 28 per cent and Mauritius accounting for 19 per cent.
AGOA still remains largely underutilized, with just 16 countries exporting textiles and apparel to the US of the 26 that are eligible. Separately, the US initiated a review in June of AGOA eligibility for Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda, which came about when the East African Community decided to ban imports of secondhand clothing to improve its own industry. As per the US Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association, the move to curb incoming used clothing is a barrier to US trade, which goes against certain requirements under AGOA.