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2007 AGOA Report Shows Growth in U.S. -; Africa Trade

May 18, 2007


Washington DC -- The U.S.
Trade Representative today submitted a comprehensive report to Congress on the
results of U.S. trade and
investment policy with respect to sub-Saharan Africa.

The 2007 Comprehensive Report on U.S. Trade and Investment Policy Toward
Sub-Saharan Africa and Implementation of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) notes that two-way trade between the United States and sub-Saharan African
countries  increased 17 percent in 2006 over 2005, reaching almost $71.3
billion, with both U.S.
exports to and U.S. imports from the region
growing.  The report also details the wide range of U.S. programs
that are assisting African countries to strengthen economic growth and
development through trade.  

"The Administration is proud of its efforts to bring
sub-Saharan Africa more fully into the
community of trading nations.  Trade is the best tool we have to alleviate
poverty and spur economic development, and AGOA is a key element in
America’s effort,” said U.S. Trade
Representative Susan C. Schwab.  “Since AGOA’s launch in 2000, two-way
trade between the United
States and sub-Saharan African countries has
increased 143 percent.”

The report to Congress provides an overview of the
U.S. trade and investment
relationship with sub-Saharan Africa, including
trade flows under AGOA.  It also covers trade capacity building and other
technical assistance programs undertaken in support of AGOA’s objectives, and
summarizes findings of the annual AGOA country eligibility review.  The
full report can be found on the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative web

Highlights from the 2007 report:

• Thirty-eight
of the 48 sub-Saharan African countries are eligible for AGOA, including
Liberia, which was added to the list
of eligible sub-Saharan African countries as of January 1, 2007. 
Twenty-six of these 38 countries are eligible to receive AGOA’s apparel

• Since its
inception in 2000, AGOA has helped increase U.S. two-way trade with sub-Saharan Africa.  In 2006, U.S. total exports to sub-Saharan Africa rose by 17 percent over 2005, to $12.1
billion.  U.S. total
imports from Africa increased by 17 percent to
$59.2 billion.  In 2006, over 98 percent of U.S. imports from AGOA-eligible countries entered
the United
States duty-free. 

• U.S. imports from AGOA countries
totaled $44.2 billion in 2006, up 16 percent over 2005, largely due to
oil.  Non-oil AGOA trade increased by seven percent to $3.2 billion –
rebounding from a decline of 16 percent in 2005 – as several sectors (footwear,
fruits, nuts, prepared vegetables and cut flowers) experienced

• The
United States devoted $394
million to trade capacity building activities in sub-Saharan Africa in FY2006, up 95 percent from FY2005.  Of this
amount, trade-related assistance from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)
accounted for $276 million.  In FY2006, the United States
launched implementation of the five-year, $200 million African Global
Competitiveness Initiative (AGCI), which is designed to help improve the
competitiveness of sub-Saharan African enterprises.  

• The United
States was a leading provider of foreign direct investment
to sub-Saharan Africa. At year-end 2005 (most
recent data available), the U.S. direct investment position had
risen 16 percent from 2004, to $14.8 billion.  U.S. direct investment in Africa supports
U.S. trade with the region and
enhances U.S.-African business partnerships.

• In March 2006, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR)
re-chartered the Trade Advisory Committee on Africa (TACA) in order to advance
AGOA’s goals and objectives.  The TACA advises the USTR on trade and
economic policy matters with respect to the countries of sub-Saharan Africa.  Its members are distinguished
representatives of the private sector and civil society who have an interest in
trade and development in sub-Saharan Africa.  The inaugural meeting of the TACA, chaired
by Ambassador Susan C. Schwab, was convened in March 2007.

The Administration is using bilateral and regional trade agreements to
strengthen trade and investment relationships with key African partners. 
Over the last year, the Administration signed trade and investment framework
agreements (TIFAs) with Rwanda, Mauritius, and Liberia,
while simultaneously intensifying cooperative work with existing TIFA
partners.  In November 2006, the United States and the Southern
African Customs Union (SACU) agreed to pursue a new type of agreement – a trade
and investment cooperation agreement (TICA) – that could help lead to a free
trade agreement (FTA) in the longer term. 

• The fifth annual meeting of the U.S.-Sub-Saharan Africa
Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum was held in Washington D.C. in June 2006,
with the theme, “Private Sector and Trade:  Powering Africa’s
Growth.”  Ministers and senior officials from nearly all AGOA beneficiary
countries participated.  U.S. Cabinet Members, senior Administration
officials and several Members of Congress also participated in the Forum. 
In addition to the ministerial-level dialogue, the Forum brought together
hundreds of U.S. and African representatives of
non-governmental entities and the private sector.  The sixth AGOA Forum
will take place in July 2007 in Accra, Ghana.


The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), enacted in
2000, is the cornerstone of our trade and investment policy with sub-Saharan
African countries.  Congress has amended AGOA to improve and expand
preferential access for beneficiary countries.  AGOA rewards reforming
countries with preferences that have been proven to help reduce barriers to
trade, increase exports, create jobs, and expand business opportunities for
African and U.S. entrepreneurs.