On Thursday, September 30, United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Deputy United States Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis will meet with Mauritian officials to discuss strengthening the U.S.-Mauritian trade and investment relationship and the progress made under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), which was signed in 2006. This Weekly Trade Spotlight highlights the benefits of U.S.-Mauritian trade for both American and Mauritian workers and businesses.
Four years ago, the United States and Mauritius signed the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), which is a mechanism for the U.S. Government to support the Mauritian Government’s efforts to liberalize and expand trade and investment, and to work with Mauritius to enhance opportunities for U.S. job-creating exports of goods and services. Each year, the two countries hold a Trade and Investment Council meeting to discuss various issues involving trade and investment.
In 2009, total trade between the United States and Mauritius was valued at nearly $240 million, with U.S. exports of $70 million, a 37 percent increase from the previous year.
The TIFA has provided mutual benefits for both the United States and Mauritius. It has significantly enhanced cooperation between Mauritius and U.S. trade agencies on topics such as trade promotion, sanitary and phytosanitary issues, and trade-related infrastructure. The TIFA has also served as a direct forum for representatives of U.S. companies to engage directly with Mauritian officials. Furthermore, as a result of work under the TIFA, Mauritian firms have participated in a variety of U.S. trade shows, resulting in millions of dollars in new trade deals.
Mauritius is a major beneficiary and a strong partner with the United States on implementing the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which helps sub-Saharan African countries integrate better into the world trading system. Under AGOA, U.S. exports in the region have doubled to $15 billion.
The United States and Mauritius also launched Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) negotiations just over a year ago in August 2009. The purpose of these ongoing BIT negotiations will be to help protect private investment, to further encourage the development of market-oriented policies in Mauritius, and to promote U.S. exports.
The United States is proud of its continuing economic involvement with Mauritius, a country with an impressive track record on democracy, economic growth, openness to foreign direct investment, economic diversification, and the expansion of trade. It has successfully developed from a low-income, agriculturally based economy to a middle-income diversified economy with growing industrial, financial, and tourist sectors.
Continuing our strong partnership with Mauritius will help this impressive African country become more competitive in the world economy, as well as help American businesses and families by creating new investment and export opportunities.