December 23, 2020
Yesterday evening, President Donald J. Trump issued a proclamation reinstating the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) eligibility for trade preferences under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). This decision affirms the DRC’s progress in meeting AGOA’s rigorous eligibility requirements as established by the U.S. Congress and President Tshisekedi’s efforts to reform and strengthen the DRC’s democratic institutions, protect human rights, and to combat corruption. The reinstatement recognizes the DRC’s progress towards establishing a market-based economy, rule of law, political pluralism, and the right to due process, as well as eliminating barriers to U.S. trade and investment, and enacting policies to reduce poverty and protect human rights.
Ambassador Mike Hammer underlined, “The return of DRC to AGOA is a significant achievement that is a clear manifestation of our Privileged Partnership for Peace and Prosperity. It is recognition of President Tshisekedi’s commitment to bringing about the change the Congolese people desire and deserve, which includes combatting corruption, protecting human rights, promoting security and peace, and creating economic opportunity. These efforts are at the core of our bilateral relationship. The United States is committed to continuing to work together in 2021 to make further progress so that the DRC can achieve its true potential for the benefit of the Congolese people. As part of that effort, we will be assisting the DRC to take full advantage of the economic benefits under AGOA.”
The United States established the U.S.-DRC Privileged Partnership for Peace and Prosperity in 2019 to combat corruption, protect human rights, strengthen democratic institutions, confront potential pandemics, promote peace and security, build a stronger bilateral relationship, and deliver results for the U.S. and Congolese people. The reinstatement of AGOA eligibility is another landmark achievement showing the progress made toward our shared goals.
Since its enactment in 2000, AGOA has been at the core of U.S. economic policy and commercial engagement with Africa. AGOA provides eligible Sub-Saharan African countries with duty-free access to the U.S. market for over 1,800 products, in addition to the more than 5,000 products that are eligible for duty-free access under the Generalized System of Preferences program.