Nigeria - US trade relations in the non-oil sector

Abstract
In as much as trade fosters economic development, it also exacerbates poverty, especially in the sub Saharan African (SSA) countries. Against this backdrop, this study will increase our understanding of the estimation of non-oil commodity trade flows between Nigeria and the U.S. More specifically, the study aims to analysing the impact of African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) on the U.S. imports of non-oil products from Nigeria. The research objectives are woven around the following questions:- What is the nature of Nigeria's and U.S.'s foreign trade policies with particular reference to non-oil trade?- What are the patterns, magnitude, composition and trends in Nigeria-US non-oil trade?- Which economic sectors possess greatest potential for fostering trade in the non-oil sector between Nigeria and the U.S.?- What is the impact of AGOA on the diversification and growth of non-oil exports in Nigeria?This study adopts the difference-in-differences (DiD) as the research methodology. Within the Nigerian context, DiD intuitively compares the trends in imports of AGOA non-oil products before and after AGOA with the pattern of imports of non-AGOA non-oil products before and after AGOA, controlling for the timing of AGOA, import capacity and economic performance of both U.S. and Nigeria.Using the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Integrated Data Base (IDB), the empirical analysis reveals that AGOA non-oil products increased by as much as 182 per cent with the implementation of AGOA, while the non-AGOA non-oil products fell by 76 per cent. Conclusively, AGOA has had a considerably positive impact on the Nigerian non-oil sector at the general level. The policy implication of the empirical analysis is the need for the U.S. to expand the product coverage and opportunities of AGOA non-oil products in order for AGOA to achieve its objectives of using trade as a potent tool for promoting economic growth in SSA.
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