Repealing the treaty would be difficult considering that the US Congress must approve. The Act has been the cornerstone of US trade policy with Africa, and over 15 years it led to an increase in trade from about $20 billion to $100 billion in 2008. However, this figure declined to $36 billion in 2015.
According to analysts, the fact that non-oil and gas exports into the US under Agoa stood at $4.1 billion in 2015, representing just two per cent of the United States’ total global trade, could have prompted President Trump to dismiss the Act as insignificant.
The non-oil Agoa trade increased marginally from $1.4 billion in 2001 to $4.1 billion in 2015. Apart from oil and gas, textiles, manufacturing, agriculture and artefacts have benefited from the treaty.
Utilisation of Agoa has been low, as just seven out of 39 African countries have taken advantage of the Act.
“Most countries have not benefited from Agoa because of supply constraints. It is for this reason that oil-producing countries have been the main beneficiaries, because it is a fairly mature product,” said Mr Kamajugo.