On May 1, 2020, the U.S. International Trade Commission ("USITC") released U.S. Trade and Investment with Sub-Saharan Africa: Recent Developments (Publication 5043 Inv. No. 332-571).
U.S. imports for consumption of apparel from SSA under AGOA grew at 9.9 percent between 2016 and 2018. Within SSA, five countries:
- Mauritius, and
In examining factors that may have affected the rise in apparel exports from SSA to the United States, the report states:
- Some multinational firms are looking for new sourcing options due to a rising emphasis on corporate social responsibility (CSR) in many countries.
- Regional integration efforts among SSA countries could also be contributing to the increase. For example, the African Continental Free Trade Area intends to remove duties on goods shipped within the continent to develop regional value chains and strengthen manufacturing capacities in SSA.
- According to the 2019 Fashion Industry Benchmarking Study, 83 percent of survey respondents expect to decrease sourcing from China over the next two years, up from 67 percent for the same question in 2018. However, the same survey found that only 28 percent of respondents were sourcing from SSA, a nearly 6 percent decline from 2016. Almost half of the respondents attributed their hesitancy about investing in the region to the temporary nature of AGOA. Moreover, long lead times, lack of infrastructure, and high logistical costs continue to deter apparel retailers from investing in the AGOA region.