(Business in Cameroon) - The U.S. Embassy in Cameroon published a release following President Donald Trump's expressed desire to end Cameroon's trade benefits under the African Growth and Development Opportunities Act (AGOA) as of January 1, 2020. “U.S. Commitment to Cameroon Remains Strong Despite Change in AGOA Status,” is the title of this release.
“The United States is a committed partner and friend of Cameroon, and we will continue to pursue robust and diverse commercial ties, working with other tools at our disposal toward realizing the enormous potential of this relationship for our mutual prosperity and economic growth,” the U.S. embassy wrote in the release.
The embassy indicates that President Trump can reintegrate Cameroon as an AGOA beneficiary country once the country meets the criteria again. “We remain committed to working with Cameroon to do so,” the embassy promised. It also recalls that, under U.S. law, countries receiving AGOA benefits are subject to regular reviews to assess the criteria established by the U.S. Congress in the legislation that established AGOA. It was after this comprehensive review process, the embassy said, that Donald Trump “found Cameroon to be out of compliance with AGOA’s eligibility criteria due to its engagement in gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.”
Let’s note that in 2018, Cameroon exported approximately $220 million (about XAF130.38 billion) worth of goods and services to the USA. Of these exports, $63 million (about XAF37.33 billion) were made under the AGOA scheme. Most of these exports (90%) under the AGOA scheme involved crude oil.