This essay assesses and evaluates the extent to which the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) increased imports from AGOA eligible countries to the United States from 2001 to 2015. The essay then examines how African countries can make the most of the preferences granted under AGOA, arguing that AGOA national utilization strategies have proven successful. In the final part, the essay explores options for future U.S.-Africa trade relations after the AGOA expires in 2025, proposing approaches that would best support African development. In this regard, this essay argues that, since Congress is unlikely to renew AGOA in its current form and since AGOA will likely be replaced with an arrangement requiring some degree of reciprocity, it will be very important for (1) the African Union's Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) to be implemented before any new U.S.-Africa trading arrangement comes into force and (2) for negotiations for any future U.S.-Africa trading arrangement not to mimic the negotiations conducted for the Economic Partnership Agreements with the European Union.
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