Did AGOA just divert Chinese exports through Africa?

I’ve followed the African Growth and Opportunity Act for a long time. This piece of US legislation gave preferential market access to exports from designated African countries, particularly in textiles and apparel. African economies experienced significant export growth in the early 2000s; the question was whether that growth should be attributed to AGOA and the EU’s […]

Will AGOA be renewed in 2015?

Rosa Whitaker, who helped create the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) as assistant USTR for Africa under President Clinton, thinks that AGOA may not be renewed. Instead, the idea gaining currency in Washington is a version of trade preference reform in which Agoa-like benefits are extended to all “least developed countries”, leaving Africa with […]

Did AGOA work? Identification and export incentives

The former USTR-Africa who designed the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) preferential trade scheme declares it a “phenomenal success“: Rosa Whitaker: I think it’s been a phenomenal success. Has it been a panacea for everything in Africa? No, it wasn’t designed to do that. But if you look at the return on the investment, […]

Madagascar’s textile firms lobby for AGOA preferences

From page 7 of today’s Politico: That’s the top of an advertisement paid for by the owners of apparel factories in Madagascar and one of their American investor partners, lobbying the US to extend AGOA preferences for textile exports. 28,000 workers signed the petition. See Aid Watchers for the full story. Here’s an academic piece on foreign […]

AGOA: Big gains

More research says AGOA had a strong positive impact: While imports in the key product categories covered by AGOA (apparel, and a large number of agricultural and manufactured products) increased 94% in the post-AGOA period, we are able to discern that the portion of this increase actually caused by AGOA was much smaller – closer […]

Stiglitz & Rashid on AGOA & EBA

Joe Stiglitz and Hamid Rashid indict unilateral preferences for LDCS: The US has already had some success in pitting the poor against each other. Preferential access for African countries, under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and more recent initiatives, seems to be largely a matter of trade diversion – taking trade from some […]

Measuring rules of origin

In the modern global economy, most barriers to trade do not come in the form of tariffs or quotas. Indeed, as early as 1970, Robert Baldwin described non-tariff protection as a big challenge following the Kennedy Round: “lowering of tariffs has, in effect, been like draining a swamp. The lower water level has revealed all […]

The case for preferential trade with Africa

Karol Boudreaux criticizes Jendayi Frazer for advocating preferential trade with Africa. She writes: I’m only going to discuss one of her recommendations, which is this: do not extend AGOA trade preferences to a small subset of developing nations that includes some south Asian and some Islamic nations. Ms. Frazer argues: “extending the same trade preferences to […]

How much can trade preferences do for Africa?

CGD’s Kim Elliott criticizes Paul Collier’s trade policy recommendations: [H]e overemphasizes the role that preferences can play in boosting Africa’s chances to cross the competitiveness threshold, while underestimating the potential for the Doha Round of global negotiations to do any good. As Collier notes, sub-Saharan apparel exports to the United States grew sharply after the […]