Sub-Saharan African countries exported around $1 billion worth of textiles and apparel to the US last year as they reaped the rewards of the Africa Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA).

Figures from customs chiefs showed clothing and textile exports to the US grew 32 per cent from the previous year but still only represented around two per cent of the US' $55 billion worth of textiles and apparel imports.

Officials also said leading Asian clothing producers who hope to export their goods to the US via African nations through AGOA's benefits would fail as a failsafe system relating to rules of origin would catch them out.