By Jana Bukolovska

The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) has recently praised the decision by the US Senate to pass the Trade Preferences Extension Act 2015. The legislation renews the African Growth and Opportunity Act, the Generalized System of Preferences, and trade preference programmes with Haiti.

Last year, USFIA joined six US and African fashion and retail trade organisations in a call for immediate renewal of the AGOA. Julia K. Hughes, President of USFIA, explained: “AGOA not only allows US companies to produce quality, affordable apparel for their customers, but also provides much-needed jobs and economic opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa.”

In its recent benchmarking study of 30 leading brands, retailers, importers, and wholesalers, the association found an urgent need to renew these trade preference programmes quickly and for a long term. In the study, 48% of respondents support long-term renewal of AGOA. In addition, 26% said they expect to source more from the AGOA region if the programme is renewed for a longer term.

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