This week, as part of his visit to East Africa, Deputy United States Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis traveled to Tanzania for a series of meetings and site visits with government officials and local stakeholders.
On Tuesday, Ambassador Marantis met with Tanzanian Vice President Mohammed Bilal to discuss the U.S.-East African Community (EAC) Trade and Investment Partnership and its mutual benefits for the two countries and the region. The meeting marked another important step to solidify the new partnership. On the same day, Ambassador Marantis took part in a luncheon with the Tanzanian American Chamber of Commerce Board and the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP), where he sought views and suggestions from local Tanzanian business leaders on how to increase bilateral trade and investment. He concluded the day with a visit to Footloose Handicrafts, one of the biggest exporters of locally-made handicrafts to the United States under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The company organizes small-scale craft producers into cooperatives and provides them with training, market information, and a variety of other services to improve the quality of their products. After the visit, Ambassador Marantis spoke to the local press about the potential for greater U.S.-Tanzanian trade and investment, including opportunities in the apparel sector resulting from Congress’ recent extension of AGOA's Third Country Fabric Provision.
Ambassador Marantis visits Footloose Handicrafts Limited, a company that exports
Tanzanian Handicrafts to the United States
The following day, Ambassador Marantis met senior members of the Tanzanian Government from a variety of ministries including the Ministry of East African Cooperation and the Ministry of Trade and discussed Tanzania's interest in taking advantage of AGOA and attracting U.S. Investment, and how the U.S.-EAC Trade and Investment Partnership will help accomplish and further these goals. They also discussed the partnership’s potential to further EAC regional integration and economic growth, as well as strengthen economic ties between the United States and Tanzania. After the meetings, Ambassador Marantis toured the Port of Dar es Salaam, which is the third largest port on the east coast of Africa and a strategic entry and exit point for major Eastern and Southern African transit corridors. He praised the vast improvements at the port and underscored the importance of improving the Port’s infrastructure and performance.
Ambassador Marantis closed out his visit to Tanzania when, in his capacity as a board member of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), he participated in a meeting with Tanzania-based U.S. companies and OPIC Chief of Staff John Morton. The meeting focused on OPIC's growing investments in sub-Saharan Africa.
Ambassador Marantis is in East Africa to advance the U.S.-East African Community (EAC) Trade and Investment Partnership, a model initiative to enhance regional integration among the five EAC partner states (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda) and two-way trade and investment between the EAC partner states and the United States. While on his three country visit, Ambassador Marantis will conduct bilateral meetings with partner state senior officials, visit African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) exporters, meet with various private sector organizations—including a meeting of all U.S. American Chambers of Commerce in sub-Saharan Africa—and participate in a special EAC trade Ministerial meeting with key leaders from all five EAC partner states.