Sunday 11 April 2021
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Increase in U.S-Namibia trade tops Johnson’s priorities

By Staff Reporter

While South Africa remains Namibia’s main trading partner – with more that half (55.7 %) of goods being sourced from that country although dependency is said to be declining – United States of America’s ambassador to Namibia Lisa Johnson has made it her chief priority to increase trade and investment between the two nations.
Johnson revealed this during the launch of African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) report titled ‘African Growth & Opportunity Act: What it Means for Namibian Business’ in the capital this week.
AGOA has since 2000 served as the cornerstone of U.S economic engagement with African and has created numerous jobs and other economic opportunities.
To Johnson’s lament, Namibia has not been able to fully capitalise on the opportunities that AGOA provides.
Funded by the U.S Embassy in Namibia, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) produced a report that seeks to help Namibia take greater advantage of AGOA duty-free preferences.
“The goal of this study was to analyse Namibia’s trade patterns regarding AGOA eligible exports and to identify export sectors that Namibia can potentially use to take advantage of AGOA benefits,” she said.
Johnson added: “I believe AGOA creates tremendous opportunities for Namibian businesses, both to build their capacity – with a purchasing power of US$13 trillion, the United States is the world’s largest consumer market – and for export market diversification,” she added.
According to Johnson, the trade preferences AGOA gives Namibian companies unlimited exposure and opportunities to create new trade relationships.
“We want those trade relationships to help form the foundation of the commercial relationship of the future between the United State and Namibia,” Johnson said.
“I want to assure you of the continuing U.S. commitment to AGOA, which was legislated by the U.S. Congress in 2000 and has been extended twice, currently to the year 2025,” she noted.
AGOA is a United States Trade Act, enacted on 18 May 2000 as Public Law 106 of the 200th Congress.
AGOA has since been renewed to 2025.
The legislation significantly enhances market access to the US for qualifying Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries.
Qualification for AGOA preferences is based on a set of conditions contained in the AGOA legislation.
In order to qualify and remain eligible for AGOA, each country must be working to improve its rule of law, human rights, and respect for core labour standards.
AGOA builds on existing US trade programs by expanding the (duty-free) benefits previously available only under the country’s Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) program.
Duty-free access to the U.S. market under the combined AGOA/GSP program stands at approximately 6,500 product tariff lines, including the tariff lines that were added by the AGOA legislation.
Notably, these newly added “AGOA products” include items such as apparel and footwear, wine, certain motor vehicle components, a variety of agricultural products, chemicals, steel and many

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