On July 18, 2016, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice announcing the initiation of the annual review of the eligibility of the sub-Saharan African countries to receive the benefits of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The AGOA Implementation Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff Committee (Subcommittee) is developing recommendations for the President on AGOA country eligibility for calendar year 2017. The Subcommittee is requesting written public comments for this review and will conduct a public hearing on this matter. The Subcommittee will consider the written comments, written testimony, and oral testimony in developing recommendations for the President. Comments received related to the child labor criteria may also be considered by the Secretary of Labor in the preparation of the Department of Labor's report on child labor as required under section 504 of the Trade Act of 1974. The notice identifies the eligibility criteria under AGOA that must be considered under AGOA, and lists those sub-Saharan African countries that are currently eligible for the benefits of AGOA and those that were ineligible for such benefits in 2016.
The deadline for filing requests to appear at the August 22, 2016 public hearing, and for filing pre-hearing briefs, statements, or comments on sub-Saharan African countries’ AGOA eligibility: August 5, 2016. The Subcommittee will convene a public hearing on AGOA country eligibility on August 22, 2016. The deadline for filing post-hearing briefs, statements, or comments on this matter: September 2, 2016.