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The effectiveness of African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in increasing trade from least developed countries

What do we want to know?

How effective has AGOA been at increasing trade from Least Developed Countries (LDCs)?  What is the expected impact of extending full Duty-Free Quota-Free (DFQF) access to the US market to all LDCs?

Who wants to know and why?

The results of this systematic review will benefit parties involved in the trade policy making process and the aid for trade agenda in the Sub-Saharan Africa region.

What did we find?

AGOA has had a positive impact on apparel exports from a small number of Sub-Saharan African LDCs.  Outside of the apparel sector there is little or no evidence of AGOA induced gains in any other sectors.  The extension of full DFQF access to all LDCs is expected to result in marginal losses for apparel exporting LDCs but overall net gains for Sub-Saharan Africa.

What are the implications?

Tariffs on products excluded from AGOA remain relatively high and AGOA's broader economic impact could be improved if preferences were extended to all products. Equally, products which are currently subject to tariff rate quotas should be fully liberalised. These measures should be coupled with non-restrictive rules of origin to allow exporters in LDCs the flexibility to source inputs more freely.

How did we get these results?

Systematic review procedures and techniques were used to generate the results.  The systematic review uncovered 178 reports, of which 21 were selected for the final in-depth review.

The EPPI Centre reference number for this report is 1902.

This report should be cited as: Condon N, Stern M (2011) The effectiveness of African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in increasing trade from least developed countries: a systematic review. London: EPPI Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London.
ISBN: 978-1-907345-07-4

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