WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, United States Trade Representative Ronald Kirk and Angola Minister of External Affairs Assunção Afonso de Sousa dos Anjos signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) that will provide a forum to address trade issues and help enhance trade and investment relations between the United States and Angola.
"It is a testament to the people of Angola and to its leadership, that after a troubled history of war and unrest, Angola is taking the positive steps to realize its full potential as a nation. We applaud the Government of Angola's efforts to promote reform that fosters transparency and accountability, diversifies the economy, and encourages an improved business environment," said Ambassador Kirk. "We look forward to using this TIFA as an opportunity to enhance and diversify the U.S.-Angolan trade and investment relationship."
A United States-Angolan Council on Trade and Investment will be formed under the TIFA 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 removing impediments to trade flows.
The United States has TIFAs with other important trading partners. Specifically, in sub-Saharan Africa, the United States has signed TIFAs with Ghana, Liberia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC), and the West African Economic Monetary Union (UEMOA). The United States has also signed a Trade, Investment, and Development Cooperative Agreement (TIDCA) with the Southern African Customs Union (SACU).
Angola has a population of about 16 million people. A strategic energy partner for the United States, Angola is fully engaged in reconstruction efforts following 40 years of conflict, including a 27-year civil war that ended in 2002. Angola has been eligible for benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) since 2003. U.S. exports to Angola in 2008 were about $400 million; U.S. imports from Angola were about $4.0 billion. More than 95 percent of this trade is related to the oil and gas sector.