USTR's Office of African Affairs develops and coordinates U.S. trade and investment policy for the 49 countries of sub-Saharan Africa. It leads the negotiation and implementation of U.S. trade and investment policies and objectives in the region. The Administration seeks both to expand markets for U.S. goods and services in sub-Saharan Africa and to facilitate efforts to bolster African economic development through increased global, regional, and bilateral trade. Sub-Saharan Africa presents many opportunities for U.S. businesses as an emerging market for American exports. Many of the fastest growing economies in the world are in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the International Monetary Fund.
The office oversees implementation of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), a trade preference program enacted in 2000 that has been at the center of U.S.-African engagement on trade and investment. By providing duty-free entry into the United States for almost all African products, AGOA has helped expand and diversify African exports to the United States, while at the same time fostering an improved business environment in many African countries through the application of eligibility requirements. In 2015, the U.S. Congress extended AGOA through 2025. The Africa Office works closely with other U.S. agencies that support capacity building to increase utilization of the AGOA program. More information on the AGOA program can be found here.
On July 14, 2022, Ambassador Tai and her Kenyan counterpart issued a joint statement launching the U.S.-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership, or STIP. The joint statement listed as mutually agreed areas of initial focus: (1) agriculture, (2) anti-corruption, (3) digital trade, (4) environment and climate action, (5) good regulatory practices, (6) micro, small, and medium size enterprises, (7) protecting worker's rights and protections, (8) supporting the participation of women, youth, and others in trade, (9) standards collaboration, (10) trade facilitation and customs procedures, and (11) services domestic regulation.
In addition, the office is coordinating U.S. Government support for the negotiation and implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area.