Last week, United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk traveled to Accra to promote increased trade between the United States and Ghana. Ambassador Kirk consulted with U.S. businesses in the area, met with Ghanaian government officials, and visited the USAID West African Trade Competitiveness Hub. Ambassador Kirk also highlighted President Obama’s recently announced Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) for Sub-Saharan Africa. The President’s new strategy puts a special emphasis on increasing trade and investment with sub-Saharan Africa, a region which is home to 6 of the 10 fastest growing markets in the world, including Ghana.
U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk visited the USAID West African Trade
Competitiveness Hub in Accra, Ghana.
The United States and Ghana have maintained a robust and growing trade relationship over the last thirteen years. In 1999, the U.S. and Ghana signed a Trade & Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) which provides a strategic framework and principles for a constructive dialogue on trade and investment issues between the two countries. Ghana has also benefitted from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), enacted in 2000, a Clinton-era bill that helps to stimulate economic growth in the region and assists eligible countries like Ghana in exporting goods to the United States. The increase in trade has led to growth for both economies. Since AGOA was enacted, U.S. exports to Ghana have increased by over 1 billion dollars from 2001 to 2011, and U.S. imports from Ghana have increased by nearly 600 million dollars during that same period.
Increased trade with Ghana has helped many U.S. businesses grow and create jobs. Ambassador Kirk visited one such business, the Cargill Cocoa Processing Facility in the port of Tema, Ghana last week. Cargill, a U.S.-based company, expanded its operations to Ghana in 2007 in order to take advantage of Ghanaian cocoa beans, which some consider to be the finest in the world. Cargill’s expansion to Ghana helped the company to improve its product, created new Ghanaian jobs, and also helped to support the jobs of thousands of Americans employed in the cocoa/chocolate sector, and related sectors such as dairy, nuts, baked goods, and baking products. Cargill’s success shows the promise of the vibrant and growing trade and investment relationship between Ghana and the United States.
For more information on how your small business can benefit from increased trade with West Africa please visit: USAID West Africa Trade Hub.