Washington, DC – Today, Representative Gregory W. Meeks, Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement regarding the Biden administration’s decision to terminate Ethiopia, Guinea, and Mali’s eligibility for the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) trade preference program: 


“I support the Administration’s decision to terminate the eligibility of Ethiopia, Guinea, and Mali from the AGOA trade preference programCongress has always been cleargovernments that commit gross violations of human rights, fail to make progress on reforms, and shun the rule of law should not enjoy AGOA’s benefits. I strongly urge the Government of Ethiopia to resume its role as a regional leadertake the necessary steps to end the war in northern Ethiopiaand protect the human rights of its people. I also encourage the Governments of Mali and Guinea to return to the path of democracy and the rule of law.  

AGOA is not a cudgel, but a means to increase and strengthen U.S. commercial ties with African partners and reinforce our shared values. I will continue to work through Congress and with this Administration to engage Ethiopia, Mali, and Guinea on the most productive path toward reinstating their AGOA eligibility.  

Background: A Message to the Congress on the Termination of the Designation of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (Ethiopia), the Republic of Guinea (Guinea), and the Republic of Mali (Mali) as beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)