The tariff extensions reflect a nine-month extension of 352 product exclusions in the China Section 301 tariffs that had been scheduled to expire at the end of 2022. The exclusions were initially reinstated on 28 March 2022.

They will help align further consideration of the exclusions with the ongoing comprehensive four-year review. 

“While this is an important step to rein in inflation, there is still much that the administration can do to help the American economy,” said AAFA president and CEO Steve Lamar. “Tariff costs have been a primary concern for the apparel and footwear industry for years now. Despite accounting for only 6% of all product imports, the industry pays 25% of all tariffs collected by the US government and amount to a huge hidden tax on American families for the clothes and shoes they must buy. In fact, President Biden has now collected far more Section 301 tariffs than President Trump under his tenure.

“Priorities as Congress concludes the year include retroactively reinstating the popular and bipartisan Generalized System of Preferences programme and the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill. Early next year we will be pushing for an immediate and long-term renewal of the Haiti HELP/HOPE programmes and the AGOA, which was the subject of many discussions during the US Africa Leaders Summit this week. Both of these programmes are scheduled to expire soon and we are hoping the long history of support each has enjoyed will create an opportunity for bipartisan action early in the next Congress.”

The AAFA is also advocating for smart trade policies that will support increased collaboration between the US and Central America as well as the US and Africa. Last week, it called for long-term renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

The US-Africa Business Forum, held last week, resulted in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation for Trade and Investment between the US and the African Continental Free Trade Area with Secretary General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, Wamkele Men.

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Discussions, however, made no mention of the renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which has been the foundation of the bilateral trade relationship since 2000 but is currently scheduled to expire in 2025.