South Sudan has been designated as eligible for benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which provides for duty-free access to U.S. markets for certain products of sub-Saharan African nations.
Legislation passed in 2012 had allowed South Sudan to be considered for inclusion in the trade preference program; it followed an earlier designation of the nation as a beneficiary under the Generalized System of Preferences.
“In the face of many challenges, South Sudan has made measurable progress since becoming an independent nation in July 2011,” U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said in a written statement. “President Obama’s designation of South Sudan as an AGOA-eligible country will help support its continued economic growth through increased trade and investment – which is a proven tool for sustained development.”
The African nations of Guinea-Bissau and Mali, however, have lost their eligibility in the wake of political strife.
In addition, St. Kitts and Nevis is no longer eligible as a GSP beneficiary because it has become a “high-income country,” but it remains eligible for trade preferences under the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act, which gives duty-free access to the U.S. to more than 5,000 products of its beneficiaries.