senate resolution no.74

Senators Geiss, Santana, Wojno, Anthony, Shink and Klinefelt offered the following resolution:

A resolution to urge the President of the United States and the United States Congress to renew the African Growth and Opportunity Act and to expand it to include other sub-Saharan African countries.

Whereas, The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) was enacted in May 2000 to provide eligible sub-Saharan African countries with duty-free access to the United States market for over 1,800 products, as well as over 5,000 products that are eligible for duty-free access under the Generalized System of Access Program. To become and remain eligible for duty-free access, countries must establish or make continual progress towards establishing a market-based economy, the rule of law, political pluralism, and the right to due process. Eligible countries must have also eliminated barriers to trade and investment with the United States and enacted policies to reduce poverty, combat corruption, and protect human rights; and

Whereas, Approximately forty sub-Saharan African countries are eligible for AGOA beneficiary status. On October 2, 2000, President Bill Clinton designated thirty-four countries as eligible for trade benefits provided under the AGOA. Since the AGOA’s enactment, countries have been added and removed from the list of eligible countries, including Cote d’Ivoire, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since 2019, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Guinea, Mali, and Burkina Faso have had their AGOA beneficiary status revoked, while the Democratic Republic of the Congo was declared an eligible lesser-developed beneficiary sub-Saharan African country; and

Whereas, The AGOA has been amended four times to clarify preferential treatment terms, technical standards, and sunset deadlines. With an initial expiration date of September 2007, President George W. Bush signed the AGOA Acceleration Act in July 2004 and extended the act’s expiration date to 2015. In June 2015, President Barack Obama signed the Trade Preferences Extension Act, thereby extending the AGOA’s validity to its current expiration date of 2025; and

Whereas, United States’ imports under the AGOA continue to grow. Total AGOA imports were valued at 9.4 billion dollars in 2022, an increase of 57 percent from 6.0 billion dollars in 2021 and more than double the value of imports in 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Among these imports, energy product imports, such as crude oil, increased from 1.9 billion dollars in 2021 to 4.5 billion dollars in 2022, and accounted for 47 percent of AGOA imports. Nigeria was the top supplier of energy products in 2022, with 3.4 billion dollars imported. Non-energy imports, such as motor vehicles, textiles, and apparel, increased by 21 percent in 2022 to 5.0 billion dollars.  South Africa was the top supplier of AGOA non-energy imports, with eligible imports increasing by 46 percent from 2021 to 2022; and

Whereas, The State of Michigan is well-positioned to support AGOA products from nations like Nigeria, South Africa, and other sub-Saharan African nations to create a two-way pipeline of investment for local entrepreneurs in our state. In 2022, Michigan imported 153 billion dollars, making it the sixth largest importer out of the 53 importers in the United States. As of May 2023, Michigan imported 14.7 billion dollars, with cars, parts and accessories for motor vehicles, delivery trucks, spark ignition engines, and commodities that were not otherwise specified among the top imports; and

Whereas, It is imperative that the United States renew the AGOA and expand it to include other sub-Saharan African countries in an effort to assist with sub-Saharan Africa’s regional integration efforts. Sub-Saharan Africa has already become more integrated through tariff reduction and increasing trade in the region. An increase in integration has already led to a growth in regional exports. Coupled with the types of goods it exports, the sub-Saharan Africa region is quickly become an attractive trading partner for the State of Michigan. Expanding the AGOA to include other sub-Saharan African countries may help Michigan businesses by encouraging reform of economic and commercial regimes, leading to stronger markets and more effective partners for the State of Michigan; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate, That we urge the President of the United States and the United States Congress to renew the African Growth and Opportunity Act and to expand it to include other sub-Saharan African countries; and be it further

Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, and the members of Michigan’s congressional and senatorial delegations.