The African Growth and Opportunity Act has been a boon to the continent, but now that US President Donald Trump has put trade ties under the spotlight and implemented tariffs, business leaders are concerned that this too will come under fire.

Workers in Africa have benefited from the growing trade because of AGOA, but how long will it be before US President Donald Trump takes aim at a deal he may consider unfair?
Workers in Africa have benefited from the growing trade because of AGOA, but how long will it be before US President Donald Trump takes aim at a deal he may consider unfair? (Carlos Jasso / Reuters)

US President Donald Trump has imposed steep tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, threatened to tear up trade deals and entered a major trade spat with China.

But so far, he's shown almost no interest in the deal that Africa has with the US – the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which significantly enhances market access to the US.

Government delegations and high-profile African business leaders gathered in Washington DC last week for the 2018 Africa Trade & Investment Global Summit. 

High on the agenda was what opportunities exist for US businesses in Africa, and what's in store for the trade relationship between the US and Africa under Trump. 

Trump has been highly critical of trade deals that he believes have been one-sided and disadvantageous to the US.

TRT World 's Harry Horton examines how confident US businesses are about future trade in Africa and what the future for AGOA looks like under President Trump.

AGOA was enacted on May 18, 2000 as Public Law 106 of the 200th Congress and has since been renewed to 2025. The legislation significantly enhances market access to the US for qualifying Sub-Saharan African countries. Qualification for AGOA preferences is based on a set of conditions contained in the legislation. 

In order to qualify and remain eligible for AGOA, each country must be working to improve its rule of law, human rights and respect for core labour standards.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies