Senator Scott Leads Call to Renew AGOA to Combat Chinese and Russian Influence in Africa, Provide Certainty for U.S. Businesses
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Africa and member of the Senate Finance Committee, led a letter to Senate leadership alongside Senator Chris Coons calling for timely consideration of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) renewal process as the program’s 2025 sunset approaches. In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the senators urged for AGOA’s extension to provide certainty for American small businesses, counteract deepening Chinese and Russian influence across the continent, provide U.S. companies sourcing alternatives to China, and promote stability in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is the foundation of the United States’ economic relationship with Sub-Saharan Africa. By lowering the cost of trade and encouraging investment in the region, AGOA creates valuable opportunities for U.S. businesses, workers, and consumers,” wrote the senators. “At the same time, by facilitating over $9 billion in exports from 35 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, AGOA promotes sustainable economic growth and development throughout the region, which, in turn, promotes stability and strengthens our national security.”
“With effective implementation, AGOA helps to counter the malign influence of China, Russia, and other foreign actors seeking to advance repressive models of governance,” continued the senators. “While there are aspects of AGOA that Congress should seek to improve, we believe the priority should be renewing the program as soon as possible and for a lengthy period.”
Joining Senators Scott and Coons (D-Del.) in signing the letter are Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Mark Warner, (D-Va.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C), and Alex Padilla (D-Calif.).
Read the letter in full here.
AGOA, which was first enacted in 2000 and reauthorized for ten years in 2015, is the cornerstone of U.S. economic engagement in Sub-Saharan Africa. As China and Russia expand their presence across the continent, AGOA can serve as critical tool to counter that influence, while facilitating trade, diversifying supply chains, reducing poverty, and promoting good governance. As the 2025 sunset approaches, Congress should enter discussions on AGOA renewal to enable adequate time for consideration of necessary reforms. Such action will send a signal to U.S. industry and African leaders that the United States intends to remain the partner of choice throughout the region.