On April 23, 2018, the President signed H.R. 3445, the African Growth and Opportunity Act and Millennium Challenge Act Modernization Act (“the Act”) into law (Pub. Law 115-167).
The Act directs the President to establish a website for the collection and dissemination of information regarding the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The website is to include information and technical assistance provided at United States Agency for International Development regional trade hubs and a link to the websites of United States embassies located in eligible sub-Saharan African countries. After each meeting of the United States–Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum, the outcomes of the meeting of the Forum, including any commitments made by member countries and the private sector and an assessment of progress made with respect to any commitments made by member countries and the private sector from the previous meeting of the Forum, are also to be published on the AGOA website.
The Department of State is urged to direct embassies in eligible countries to promote the use of the benefits available under the AGOA and to provide a link to new AGOA website.
In addition, according to the official summary of the legislation prepared by the Congressional Research Service:
The President is urged to:
- facilitate trans-boundary trade among eligible sub-Saharan African countries;
- provide training for business and government trade officials on accessing AGOA benefits;
- provide capacity building for African entrepreneurs and trade associations on production strategies, quality standards, and market development;
- provide capacity building training to promote product diversification and value-added processing; and
- provide capacity building and technical assistance funding to help African businesses and institutions comply with U.S. counter-terrorism policies.
The Millennium Challenge Act of 2003 is amended to permit an eligible country that has entered into a Millennium Challenge Compact to enter into one additional compact under specified conditions.
The bill establishes, beginning with FY2013, new assistance criteria for a low-income or a lower middle income candidate country eligible to enter into a Millennium Challenge Compact with the United States.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation shall: (1) before selecting a compact country, provide the Board of Directors with information regarding the country’s treatment of civil society; and (2) submit an assessment of the feasibility of developing partnerships at the sub national level within candidate countries.