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Trump Administration Looks Toward the Future U.S.-African Trade and Investment Relationship

June 29, 2018

WASHINGTON – Trade in goods between the United States and sub-Saharan Africa increased nearly six percent to $39 billion between 2015 and 2017, according to a report delivered to Congress today by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

The report details the state of trade and investment between the United States and the countries meeting eligibility criteria under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) for duty-free access to the U.S. market for more than 1,800 of their products.  The report examines developments in AGOA over the last two years.  Forty countries are currently eligible for AGOA, including The Gambia and Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) countries that regained their AGOA beneficiary status as of January 1, 2018.

“With today’s report and next month’s AGOA Forum, the Trump Administration is continuing to build on AGOA’s success by strengthening bilateral trade relationships in sub-Saharan Africa with the goal of establishing a free trade agreement that could serve as a model for developing countries,” said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.  “By reducing barriers to trade, we create more opportunity, jobs, and wealth for workers in both the United States and Africa.”

In order to participate in AGOA, countries must establish or make continual progress toward establishing a market-based economy, the rule of law, political pluralism, and the right to due process.  Additionally, countries must eliminate barriers to U.S. trade and investment, enact policies to reduce poverty, combat corruption, and protect human rights.

“By providing new market opportunities for African exports, AGOA has helped bolster African economic growth and alleviate poverty on the continent.  Additionally, AGOA has helped create a more conducive environment for American investment and business interests as African markets continue to expand,” the USTR report states.

Expanding the U.S.-Africa trade relationship beyond the African Growth and Opportunity Act will be the focus of the AGOA Forum to be held in Washington, DC on July 11-12.  The Forum’s 2018 theme is “Forging New Strategies for U.S.-Africa Trade and Investment.”

To read the report, click here.

To read a fact sheet about the report, click here.