U.S., sub-Saharan Africa trade program renewed under Young bill

U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) is one of six original cosponsors of a bipartisan bill that would renew and strengthen a key trade program between the United States and sub-Saharan African countries. 

The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Renewal and Improvement Act of 2024, S. 4110, would  reauthorize the AGOA, first enacted in 2000 as a trade preference program to facilitate more investment and stronger commercial ties between the U.S. and sub-Saharan African countries. The AGOA is slated to sunset in 2025.

“This legislation to renew AGOA will enhance the oversight and efficiency of the program and further develop the relationship between the U.S. and this growing region,” said Sen. Young, who on April 11 introduced S. 4110 with bill sponsor U.S. Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) and five other original cosponsors, including U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD).

If enacted, S. 4110 would extend the AGOA until 2041, a long-term extension that would offer businesses the certainty they need to increase investment in sub-Saharan Africa as they seek to diversify supply chains away from China, according to a bill summary provided by Sen. Young’s staff.

“Over the past 24 years, AGOA has created jobs and economic growth in one of the fastest-growing regions of the world and created investment opportunities for American businesses,” Sen. Coons said. “The AGOA Renewal and Improvement Act is necessary to support continued economic development on the continent while further strengthening ties between the United States and partners in sub-Saharan Africa.”

The bill also would streamline the AGOA eligibility review process to ensure that any enforcement action is timely, fair, and clearly communicated; integrate the AGOA with the African Continental Free Trade Agreement to support the development of intra-African supply chains; and incentivize AGOA beneficiaries to develop a “utilization strategy” to increase exports under the program, the summary says.

The measure has been referred to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee for consideration.