Content on this archived webpage is NOT UPDATED, and external links may not function. External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views contained therein.

Click here to go to the CURRENT USTR.GOV WEBSITE


USTR Schwab to Attend U.S.-African Trade Conference in Ghana

July 13, 2007



Washington, DC – United States Trade Representative Susan
C. Schwab
will participate in the 2007 U.S.-Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and
Cooperation Forum in Accra, Ghana on July 18-19 where she will discuss

ways to enhance two-way U.S.-African trade and investment and the
importance for
African countries of a successful outcome of the World
Trade Organization Doha
Development Round. 


The annual meeting, also known as “the AGOA Forum,” is an
outgrowth of the landmark African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and brings
together ministerial-level government officials from the United States
and the 39 sub-Saharan African countries eligible for AGOA trade benefits, as
well as representatives from the private sector and civil society. 

“AGOA has changed the landscape of U.S.-African trade
 By opening up new opportunities for U.S.-Africa trade and

investment, AGOA is helping African countries to use the power of trade
and free
markets to grow their economies and reduce poverty,” said
Ambassador Schwab.
“The AGOA Forum is also an opportunity for the
and our African partners to
reaffirm our shared interest in advancing the World
Organization’s Doha Development Agenda negotiations.”

“The AGOA Forum allows us to consult with all of AGOA’s
– including African government officials and African and American

businesspeople and civil society representatives – on ways to build on
achievements,” Ambassador Schwab noted.

Since the first full year of AGOA in 2001, two-way
trade has more than doubled, reaching $71.3 billion in 2006. 
includes a two-fold increase in non-oil AGOA imports from Africa --

including apparel, manufactured products, and processed food items – as
well as
a doubling of U.S. exports to
sub-Saharan Africa.

The theme of the 2007 AGOA Forum is “As Trade Grows,
Prospers:  Optimizing the Benefits Under AGOA.”  Many of the

sessions will focus on how AGOA beneficiary countries can diversify
exports and make the most of the broad range of products eligible
for duty-free
treatment under the AGOA program.  Ambassador Schwab
will co-chair a
plenary session on challenges to AGOA implementation
and a session with senior
African officials on the Doha Round and other
trade issues.  Deputy U.S.
Trade Representative Karan K. Bhatia
will co-chair a roundtable on issues
affecting textiles and apparel
trade under AGOA. 

Background on AGOA

The African Growth and Opportunity Act, passed by Congress
enacted in 2000, is a U.S. trade preference program that is reducing

barriers to trade, increasing exports, creating jobs and expanding
for Africans to build better lives.  Under AGOA and
the Generalized System
of Preferences (GSP), eligible countries can
export almost any product to the
U.S. duty-free –
nearly 6,500
products from apparel to automobiles, and footwear to
processed food

AGOA has been a measurable success in achieving increased
between the United

States and sub-Saharan Africa.  In 2006, U.S. imports
from AGOA countries totaled $44.2 billion -- more than five times the
level of
AGOA imports in 2001, the first full year of AGOA.  Much
of this increase
was related to oil, but non-oil imports -- including
non-traditional African
products such as apparel, footwear,
automobiles, and processed agricultural
goods -- more than doubled from
$1.4 billion in 2001 to $3.2 billion in
2006.  In 2006, over 98%
of imports from AGOA-eligible
countries entered the
States duty-free.  

AGOA has also created opportunities for
businesses.  Because of
AGOA, Africans are increasingly seeking
U.S. inputs, expertise, and joint
venture partnerships.  U.S. exports to sub-Saharan Africa more than doubled from $5.9 billion in 2000 to
$12.1 billion in 2006, driven in large part by growth in manufactured
exports such as machinery, oil field equipment, motor vehicle
parts, and
telecommunications equipment.

AGOA is one of several tools the Administration is using
strengthen trade and investment relationships with key African

partners.  The United

States has signed three new trade and investment
agreements (TIFAs) with African partners over the last year
(Rwanda, Mauritius, and Liberia),
bringing to nine the number of such agreements with sub-Saharan African

partners.  The United

States is also negotiating a Bilateral Investment
with Rwanda and exploring such

negotiations with other African countries.  In addition, the

States is carrying out a wide range of
capacity building activities to help sub-Saharan African
countries to take full
advantage of trade opportunities, including
those available under AGOA, and to
increase growth and reduce poverty.