The effectiveness of African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in increasing trade from Least Developed Countries: A systematic review.

Abstract

The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) was signed into law by the US Congress on May 18th 2000, with the broad objective of boosting exports from Sub- Saharan Africa to the US by eliminating tariff barriers on a large number of their exports. AGOA was initially due to expire in 2008, however it was subsequently extended and it is now set to expire in 2015.

This systematic review aims to rigorously assess the available evidence on the benefits of AGOA for Sub-Saharan African LDCs in order to arrive at a clear understanding of its effectiveness and impact. The review explains what it is about AGOA that works, for whom it works, in what circumstances and why. In addition the review explores the likely implications of extending full Duty-Free Quota-Free (DFQF) preferences to the US market to all LDCs.

The literature search identified 178 potentially relevant studies and, after eliminating duplicates and applying the exclusion criteria, 21 studies were left for inclusion in the final in-depth review or synthesis. The synthesis is presented in the form of a textual narrative structured around three thematic areas or sections.

The first section of the synthesis assesses the extent to which eligible Sub-Saharan African countries, with particular focus on LDCs, responded to AGOA preferences. In the second section we explain the key reasons for the trends uncovered in the first section, with the aim of understanding and explaining the structure of exports under AGOA. The third section of the synthesis explores the potential impact on AGOA beneficiaries of extending full duty and quota free access to the US market to all LDCs.

Citation

Condon, N.; Stern, M. The effectiveness of African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in increasing trade from Least Developed Countries: A systematic review. EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London, London, UK (2011) 70 pp. ISBN 978-1-907345-07-4

The effectiveness of African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in increasing trade from Least Developed Countries: A systematic review.

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