WASHINGTON – U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman and the Mozambican Minister of Industry and Commerce Antonio Fernando signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) today that will provide a forum to address trade issues and will help enhance trade and investment relations between the United States and Mozambique. The TIFA will build on our bilateral trade and investment relationship with the Government of the Republic of Mozambique and the recent enactment of the U.S.-Mozambique Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT).
"Mozambique is viewed as a positive model because of its impressive track record on democracy, political stability, economic growth, openness to foreign direct investment, and expanding exports. This TIFA will provide us an opportunity to work together to further expand trade between our two countries. It will also allow us to work more closely with the Government of Mozambique to support continued progress and success," said Ambassador Portman.
Joining Ambassador Portman in signing the agreement were Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Josette Sheeran Shiner, U.S. Ambassador to Mozambique Helen Meagher La Lime, members of the African Diplomatic Corps, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs Cindy Courville and senior representatives from the U.S. and Mozambique government and private sector.
"The TIFA will expand our bilateral trade and investment relationship with Mozambique. It is an important next step in our increasingly strong trade relationship, and it builds on our Bilateral Investment Treaty, the African Growth and Opportunity Act, our work in the WTO, and Mozambique’s Millennium Challenge Account compact," said Ambassador Shiner.
The TIFA provides a mechanism for improving the U.S.-Mozambican trade relationship, exploring common objectives, reviewing options, and investigating possibilities for greater cooperation and a more comprehensive trade and investment dialogue.
Created by the TIFA, a United States-Mozambican Council on Trade and Investment will be formed to address a wide range of trade and investment issues that include, but are not limited to, trade capacity building, intellectual property, labor, environmental issues, and enhancing the participation of small and medium sized enterprises in trade and investment. The TIFA Council will establish an ongoing dialogue which will help increase commercial and investment opportunities by identifying and working to remove impediments to trade and investment flows between the United States and Mozambique.
The United States has TIFAs with other important trading partners. In sub-Saharan Africa, the United States has concluded TIFAs with South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU/UEMOA). These agreements have provided the United States with a constructive mechanism for facilitating improved trade and investment relations with our TIFA partners.
Mozambique has made significant leaps in its development following the end of the civil war in 1992, and continues to be an international model of war-to-peace transition. The substantial, sustained economic growth rate of 8 percent in Mozambique is the result of market-oriented reforms implemented over the last years.
Total trade between the United States and Mozambique was valued at $87.2 million in 2004, an increase of 24 percent over the prior year. U.S. exports totaled $76.4 million in 2004; U.S. imports from Mozambique amounted to $10.8 million in that same year. Mozambique’s exports to the United States, however, make up only about 1 percent of its total worldwide exports. Hence, the opportunities for an expanded trading relationship between the United States and Mozambique are significant. Mozambique is also interested in developing its tourism industry, and U.S. foreign-direct investment in this sector could be very useful in achieving the country’s development goals.
The United States is aggressively working to open markets globally, regionally, and bilaterally and to expand American opportunities in overseas markets. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Portman plans to pursue an aggressive agenda with a focus on opening new markets, enforcing our trade agreements and trade laws, spreading economic freedom, and working in close partnership with Congress.