The Unites States imported goods from sub-Saharan Africa to the value of US$39bn in 2013, according to figures released by the US Department of Commerce-International Trade Administration.
All of this thanks to the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which provides exporters duty-free access to the lucrative US market.
US imports from the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region almost tripled from $8.468m in 2000 to US$19.8m 69 million in 2012, statistics say.
“AGOA has stimulated trade and investment between Africa and the US. Trade lanes in Africa have increased significantly as a result of relieved trade barriers, which have had a positive impact on many local businesses,” Charles Brewer, MD of DHL Express sub-Saharan Africa, said in a statement.
The top three trade lanes to the US from sub-Saharan Africa came from Nigeria, Angola and South Africa, who accounted for US$11.72bn, US$8.74bn and US$8.48bn respectively.
DHL sub-Saharan Africa, one of the companies thought to have massively benefited from AGOA, said its business volume to the US has significantly grown since the introduction of AGOA in 2000.
Therefore, Brewer said his company, alongside many world leaders, supported the call for the renewal of AGOA when it expires next year.
Brewer emphasised that the Act offers tangible incentives to approximately 40 sub-Saharan African beneficiary countries, such as duty and quota free access to the US market for certain product lines.
AGOA has facilitated trade between sub-Saharan Africa and the US by enabling the trade process, as well as successfully promoting the integration of Sub Saharan Africa into the global economy, he explained.