TABJ – The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) is lobbying for the extension of the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA), by an extra 15 years.

The Act encapsulates a trade deal between the United States and the continent of Africa which first came into effect 14 years ago, and is due to expire on Sept. 30, 2015.

While attending the East African Business Council (EABC) forum, Kenya’s business delegation took the opportunity to push for the agenda. Key to furthering discussing is also the extension of the Third Country Fabric Provision (CFP), which is set to expire next year.

“Expiry of the third CFP could have a massive impact on Kenya’s textile sector as the country imports various inputs and components used in the manufacture of textiles and apparels for export under AGOA,” a KEPSA statement said.

The AGOA deal grants duty free access to the U.S. market for qualifying African States, without requiring any market opening in return. Forty three countries of sub-Saharan Africa are eligible for AGOA preferences, provided they meet certain conditions.

These conditions include a commitment to the rule of law, a market-based economy, and internationally recognized workers’ rights, as well as a pledge to work towards eliminating barriers to trade and investment with the United States.