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WT/TPR/S/322/Rev.1 â¢ Cabo Verde - 22 i.e. Madeira, Azores, and the Canary Islands) and requires that the special circumstances of Cabo Verde should be examined as the EU and ECOWAS countries negotiate an EPA.27 2.28. The EPA negotiations were launched in October 2003 and concluded at the level of senior officials in February 2014.28 ECOWAS Heads of State endorsed the EPA for signature on 10 July 2014. The EPA will enter into force after signature and ratification. The Agreement establishes joint institutions including a Council, an implementation committee, a Parliamentary Committee, and a civil society forum. The EPA covers trade in goods, development cooperation, and clauses that call for further negotiations on services and rules. 2.29. The obligations regarding trade in goods are asymmetric in the sense that the EU is committed to open its markets to all West African products once the EPA enters into force, while West African States have agreed to liberalize 75% of their trade with the EU over a period of 20 years. An MFN clause (Article 16) may provide additional preferences to the West African countries should the EU become part of a preferential agreement with one or more third parties after the initialling of the EPA, but also additional preferences to the EU should the West African countries conclude preferential agreements with certain trading partners. 29 Trade remedies, including multilateral and bilateral safeguards, are regulated by Chapter 2 of the Agreement. The parties have pledged transparency regarding their agricultural policies and domestic support measures, and the EU will refrain from the use of agricultural export subsidies for goods exported to West Africa. The EPA is accompanied by a development assistance package (Economic Partnership Agreement Development Programme) of minimum â¬6.5 billion for the years 2015-2019. 2.30. Until the EPA enters into force, exports from Cabo Verde to the EU are subject to preferential tariff treatment through the EU's GSP scheme. In 2011, Cabo Verde became the first African country to be granted "GSP+" status and thus qualify for enhanced benefits for exports of goods and services.30 2.31. Cabo Verde is eligible for preferential access to the United States' market under the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA). Originally, the programme covered the period October 2000 to September 2008 (AGOA1) but, following legislative amendments signed into law in July 2004, the programme was extended until 30 September 2015. As of May 2015, US lawmakers were finalizing procedures to extend the AGOA until 30 September 2025. 2.32. Exports from Cabo Verde to the United States are modest. The share of "AGOA imports" in total US imports from Cabo Verde is no more than 5%-10%, and has consisted exclusively of agricultural products in recent years.31 One explanation put forward for the negligible use of AGOA has been that Cabo Verde has found it difficult to comply with stricter rules of origin under AGOA2 compared with AGOA1.32 The "new AGOA" reportedly retains a 35% value added 27 The six pillars of the special partnership fall under the headings good governance, security/stability, regional integration, technology and standards convergence, knowledge-based society, and poverty alleviation and development. See Commission of the European Communities, Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the future of relations between the European Union and the Republic of Cabo Verde, Brussels, 24 October 2007 [SEC(2007) 1415]. 28 The parties to the EPA are the EU on one side and the 15 ECOWAS States plus Mauritania on the other. 29 Article 16.3 of the draft text of the EPA excludes trade preferences exchanged between West Africa and other countries in Africa and the ACP region. However, most favourable tariff treatment is to apply should West Africa conclude a deal with a trading partner representing more than 1.5% of world trade (2% if the agreement is with a group of countries) and an industrialization rate (share of manufacturing value added in GDP) of more than 10%, measured in the year prior to the entry into force of the EPA. According to the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, India, China and Brazil are examples of developing countries that might fall within this definition. 30 The enhanced preferential access is granted to trading partners that ratify and implement international conventions relating to human and labour rights, environment and good governance. 31 In 2011, the United States imported goods worth nearly US$1.5 million from Cabo Verde, of which imports under AGOA accounted for US$154,000. Exports to the United States increased to US$2.1 million in 2013 while the value of AGOA trade remained stable. AGOA online information. Viewed at: www.AGOA.info. 32 Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Energy (2013).