Africa: U.S. Congress Passes AGOA

The following is an update from Congresswoman Karen Bass, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Africa, about the recent unanimous vote in the U.S. Congress approving the "African Growth & Opportunity Act (AGOA) and Millennium Challenge Act (MCA) Modernization Act." (Photo: Rep. Karen Bass of Los Angeles, California advocating for the legislation on the House Floor/C-SPAN)

Press Release

Karen Bass, Member of Congress

In light of recent remarks made by Trump in reference to Haiti and some African countries last week, I wanted to share some positive news coming out of Washington, DC regarding our country’s relationship with Africa.

This week, Congress passed the “African Growth & Opportunity Act (AGOA) and Millennium Challenge Act (MCA) Modernization Act” by a unanimous voice vote on the House Floor.

The bill, which I introduced with my colleague, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.), will make AGOA more effective by directing the President to establish a website with information regarding AGOA and by encouraging embassies in chosen countries to promote export opportunities to the United States.

The bill also includes a piece of legislation I introduced in 2015, which would enable eligible countries with Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compacts to simultaneously enter one additional compact if the country is making considerable and demonstrable progress in implementing the terms of the existing compact. This would promote and develop a stronger economic relationship between sub-Saharan Africa and the United States.

As you know, for well over a decade, AGOA has served as the key foundation to U.S.-Africa trade and investment. The AGOA and MCA Modernization Act hopes to build on and improve this successful law. AGOA and the MCC have proven track records of spurring economic development. Expanding these programs advances our position as international leaders, strengthens our domestic job market and economy, while protecting our national security interests. It is in our economic and political interest to expand our relationships with the nations of Africa and this legislation strengthens key laws in that effort.

You can watch the full remarks by Congresswoman Karen Bass advocating for Congress to pass the AGOA legislation here.

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