Cameroon will lose its preferred trade status under the United States African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) on January 1, following the U.S. decision to revoke its status because of its human rights record.
U.S. President Donald Trump announced the decision in October, but confirmed it by a proclamation issued on Thursday. The West African nation will no longer be eligible for benefits under AGOA that affect market access, investment, and reduced or eliminated tariffs on U.S. imports.
“Despite intensive engagement between the United States and the Government of Cameroon, Cameroon has failed to address concerns regarding persistent human rights violations being committed by Cameroonian security forces,” the previous White House statement said. “These violations include extrajudicial killings, arbitrary and unlawful detention, and torture.”
Three other nations also will see changes that begin Wednesday, the White House said.
“I have determined that the Republic of Niger, the Central African Republic, and the Republic of The Gambia have not established effective visa systems and related customs procedures meeting the requirements” of the relevant AGOA legislation, the Trump announcement added. It applies to textiles and apparel imported by the U.S.
Other countries currently ineligible for AGOA participation are South Sudan, Eritrea and Democratic Republic of Congo. Imports from sub-Saharan Africa to the U.S. under AGOA amounted to $12 billion in 2018 and accounted for nearly half of total U.S. imports from the region, with Nigeria, South Africa, Angola, Chad and Kenya as the top exporters under the AGOA provisions.
To view the full White House proclamation, check this link.
To see U.S. Department of Trade information on AGOA, check the link here.