The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is a US trade act that gives certain Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries increased access to American markets by providing duty-free benefits on the importation of certain products from the SSA countries. On October 2, 2000, former President Bill Clinton issued a proclamation that designated thirty-four countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), as eligible for the trade benefits of AGOA. However, in December 2010, former President Barack Obama ended the designation of the DRC as a beneficiary of AGOA because the country was not making much progress in meeting the agreed requirements.
The termination took effect in January 2011. Before the termination, DRC was among the top five AGOA-eligible oil exporters to the US, contributing around $68.2 billion in exports. This termination also took a toll on DRC since it lost the free trade opportunities and foreign investments of AGOA. Thus, DR Congo President Félix Tshisekedi is now working to reform and strengthen the country's democratic institutions, protect human rights, and combat corruption.
On December 22, 2020, former President Donald Trump issued a proclamation to reinstate the DRC as an AGOA beneficiary country. Here are some ways the country will benefit from the reinstatement:
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