The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) has released a report titled, “AGOA: Trade and Investment Performance Overview.” The report describes, reviews, and analyzes the trade and investment performance of African Growth & Opportunity Act (AGOA) beneficiary countries from 2000 to 2013. Of particular note, “The report’s findings suggest that AGOA’s impact on foreign direct investment (FDI) has been strongest in the apparel industry. Overall, the program’s trade benefits and eligibility criteria appear to have motivated AGOA beneficiary countries to improve their business and investment climates. AGOA has had a positive impact on FDI inflows, particularly in the textile and apparel sector in Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritius, Swaziland, and Botswana, and also in South Africa’s automotive industry. Some studies, however, suggest that reciprocal trade agreements may have certain advantages over unilateral trade preference programs such as AGOA.”

USFIA contributed information to the report (page 322):

In a written submission, Julia Hughes, President, United States Fashion Industry Association

(USFIA), said that USFIA represents textile and apparel brands, retailers, importers, and wholesalers based in the United States. She indicated that she would concentrate on two of the investigations, Nos. 332-542, AGOA: Trade and Investment Performance Review, and 332-545, U.S. AGOA Rules of Origin: Possible Changes to Promote Regional Integration and Promote Exports to the United States. USFIA member companies, according to Ms. Hughes, continue to source from textile and apparel producers in SSA. Ms. Hughes noted that these companies want to maintain partnerships on the African continent and she made the following recommendations: (1) AGOA should be renewed on a seamless basis as soon as possible and no later than 2014; (2) AGOA should be reauthorized for a 15-year period; (3) the third-country fabric provision should be renewed for the full duration of the AGOA renewal; (4) all AGOA beneficiary countries should benefit from AGOA’s third-country fabric provision; and (5) trade capacity building programs should be expanded.