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On January 18, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis traveled to Maputo, Mozambique to advance trade and investment relations between the United States and Mozambique. On January 19, Ambassador Marantis co-chaired, with Mozambican Minister of Industry and Commerce Armando Inroga, the third Council meeting of the United States-Mozambique Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).
The TIFA Council works toward deepening and strengthening commercial ties, and facilitates a high-level dialogue to help increase commercial and investment opportunities by identifying and working to remove barriers to trade and investment flows between the United States and Mozambique.
Ambassador Marantis was joined at the TIFA Council meeting by U.S. Ambassador to Mozambique Leslie Rowe, and a U.S. delegation representing a number of agencies including the Departments of State and Agriculture, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), and the USAID-funded Southern Africa Trade Hub.
Ambassador Marantis Hosts TIFA Council Meeting
The TIFA Council meeting provided an opportunity to review progress, identify challenges, and develop specific steps and strategies to grow and diversify our bilateral trade and investment relationship with Mozambique. During the government-to-government meeting, officials from the United States and Mozambique explored common objectives, which included improving the utilization of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), increasing export diversification, improving the investment climate, and protecting intellectual property rights (IPR).
The TIFA Council also discussed Mozambique’s Millennium Challenge Account compact. In addition, officials discussed trade capacity building and U.S.-provided technical assistance to support and facilitate Mozambique’s continued progress and success.
Ambassador Marantis Makes Remarks during the TIFA Council Meeting
As a result of the deliberations, the two sides agreed to a number of follow-up actions, including a possible Mozambique trade mission to the United States on the margins of the AGOA forum in June; U.S. assistance to help promote AGOA diversification to apparel, fruit juice, and other value-added products; and U.S. assistance in implementation of an Intellectual Property (IP) strategy - including training judges, enacting a framework for geographic indicators, and a branding strategy for Mozambique. Additionally, we announced a USAID grant of up to $500,000 that will help Mozambique with trade facilitation.
Ambassador Marantis also visited the Maputo Clothing Company - a Mozambican firm that at one point exported apparel to the U.S. under AGOA, but is not presently doing so. The purpose of the visit was to understand the challenges that Mozambican exporters have had with AGOA and whether further technical assistance from our regional trade hubs would help exporters in Mozambique position themselves to make use of AGOA.
Ambassador Marantis Visits the Maputo Clothing Company