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U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk Meets with Students, Farmers, Business Leaders during Visit to Arusha and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

June 07, 2011

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania – Today, United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk met with business and international trade students from the University of Dar es Salaam and the University of Mzumbe in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. During the session, he discussed the importance of trade in promoting economic growth in Africa and the United States. He highlighted the importance of the U.S.-African trade relationship. He also discussed the urgent need to prepare the next generation of government and business leaders for the demands of an increasingly competitive global economy.

“For all of the world’s needs, Africa has many answers,” said Ambassador Kirk. “Tanzania has been particularly blessed with extraordinary natural resources and, as the next generation of Tanzania’s leaders, you need to lead the way in taking advantage of those resources so Tanzania can realize its full potential.”

Ambassador Kirk’s two-day trip highlighted the strong partnership between the U.S. and Tanzania. Prior to meeting with students, Ambassador Kirk spoke at a reception in Dar es Salaam as part of the 2nd Annual African AmCham (American Chamber of Commerce) Summit, which was attended by representatives from more than a dozen African AmChams, local Tanzanian business leaders and Tanzanian government officials. In his remarks, Ambassador Kirk focused the progress made under AGOA, but also discussed the need to do more to increase U.S. exports to Africa in order to support America’s economic recovery at home.

“Tanzania and the United States have a true partnership that is helping local workers, farmers and businesses flourish. The Obama Administration has invested considerable energy and resources in efforts to ramp up two-way trade between the United States and African countries. The Unites States is betting on Tanzania,” said Ambassador Kirk.

While in Dar es Salaam, Ambassador Kirk met with President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete of Tanzania to discuss the bilateral trade and investment relationships between the two countries. Ambassador Kirk commended Tanzania for being one of only four countries worldwide to be selected for President Obama’s new Partnership for Growth (PFG) initiative, which seeks to promote broad-based economic growth in developing countries that show a demonstrated commitment to development and democratic governance. Ambassador Kirk also met with Tanzania’s Minister of Trade, Industry and Marketing, Cyril Chami to encourage continued cooperation and progress under the United States-East African Community (EAC) Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).

On June 6, prior to his visit to Dar es Salaam, Ambassador Kirk traveled to Arusha, Tanzania. There he met with U.S. tourism companies and visited several small farms that have benefited from exporting products to the U.S. Ambassador Kirk toured a flower seed farm that contracts with MultiFlower to export to American and European farms. He also visited Pendo Farm, that exports most of its coffee beans to U.S. companies, including Starbucks. Arusha is one of the country’s primary centers for agriculture business and is benefitting from U.S. trade capacity building assistance.

“Agriculture is an important industry for jobs and economic growth in Tanzania – particularly here in Arusha,” said Ambassador Kirk. “I was able to see first-hand how U.S.-Tanzania trade is contributing to the growth and success of this industry and providing a real benefit to local families. We will continue to work with the government and businesses here to build on this progress because Tanzania remains a key partner to the United States in this region of the world.”

Tanzania was the United States’ 126th largest export market in 2010. Total two-way trade between Tanzania and the U.S. was valued at $207 million in 2010. U.S. exports to Tanzania grew by 3.6 percent between 2009 and 2010, rising to $164 million. U.S. imports from Tanzania were valued at $43 million in 2010. Coffee accounts for 36 percent of all U.S. imports from Tanzania. Of total U.S. imports from Tanzania during 2010, $2.1 million entered duty-free under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and including the General System of Preferences (GSP), up from $1.8 million in 2009.