US to Reinstate Mauritania’s Agoa Benefits Following Eligibility Review.
The United States has announced its decision to reinstate Mauritania’s benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) program, with the reinstatement scheduled for January of the coming year. This move comes after Mauritania, a country in North-West Africa, demonstrated “substantial and measurable progress on worker rights and eliminating forced labor,” as confirmed by the US trade office. The suspension of trade benefits in 2019 was prompted by concerns over workers’ rights violations in Mauritania.
This development follows a recent announcement by US President Joe Biden, in which Agoa benefits were terminated for Gabon, Niger, Uganda, and the Central African Republic (CAR). The termination for Gabon and Niger was attributed to recent coups, while Uganda and CAR faced the consequences due to human rights violations.
Mauritania’s economy is predominantly shaped by extractive industries, particularly in oil and minerals, accounting for more than three-quarters of its exports. Additionally, the fisheries, animal husbandry, and agriculture sectors play a significant role in contributing to the government’s revenue.
The Agoa program, established in 2000, extends duty-free access to the United States for over 1,800 products for eligible sub-Saharan African countries, fostering trade and economic growth.