Davos Platz, Switzerland – United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Deputy United States Trade Representative Maria Pagán met yesterday with South African Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel for a productive and wide-ranging conversation on the margins of the World Economic Forum. Ambassador Tai highlighted the strong bilateral trade relationship and the productive discussions during the African Leaders Summit and emphasized the Biden Administration’s clear message that America is ready to partner with Africa for Africa.
Ambassador Tai and Minister Patel underscored the importance of deepening economic engagement between the United States and the continent, including through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Ambassador Tai said she looked forward to the next AGOA Ministerial and welcomed Minister Patel’s views on strengthening AGOA, including by improving the low utilization rates, particularly among smaller economies.
Ambassador Tai and Minister Patel also discussed the importance of working with all World Trade Organization (WTO) Members to rejuvenate the organization so it is more responsive to the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly changing global economy. Ambassador Tai noted the constructive engagement led by the United States with a diverse group of WTO members over the last year and the importance of identifying common ground in multiple areas before the 13th Ministerial Conference, including dispute settlement.
Ambassador Tai and Minister Patel agreed to continue their robust engagement in the weeks and months ahead.