Report Shows AGOA Continues to Grow and Diversify U.S.-Africa Trade

May 16, 2008


The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative today submitted
to Congress the 2008 Comprehensive Report on U.S. Trade and Investment Policy Toward
Sub-Saharan Africa and Implementation of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).  The annual report to
Congress provides an overview of the U.S. trade and investment
relationship with sub-Saharan African countries, describes trade capacity
building and other technical assistance programs in support of AGOA objectives,
and summarizes developments in sub-Saharan African countries related to AGOA’s
eligibility criteria. 

“Eight years after its enactment into law, AGOA continues to
have a profound and positive impact on U.S. trade and investment with sub-Saharan
Africa,” said U.S. Trade Representative Susan
Schwab.  “It has helped to increase two-way U.S.-African trade, promoted
greater diversification of exports from AGOA-eligible countries, and reinforced
African economic reform efforts.  The U.S. Government has provided
substantial trade capacity building assistance to help Africans utilize the
trade opportunities offered under AGOA and to participate more effectively in
the global trading system.  The improved business environment in Africa
under AGOA has also helped to create new opportunities for U.S.
exports to the region.”

The following are some highlights from the 2008

With the addition of Mauritania in June 2007, and Togo in
April 2008, there are now 40 sub-Saharan African countries eligible for African
Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) benefits, the highest number ever.  As of
May 2008, 27 of these 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 2007,
U.S. total exports to
sub-Saharan Africa totaled $14.4 billion, more
than double the amount in 2001.  U.S. total imports from sub-Saharan Africa more than tripled during this period to $67.4
billion.  In 2007, over 98 percent of U.S. imports from AGOA-eligible countries entered
the United
States duty-free. 

AGOA imports (including GSP) totaled $51.1 billion in 2007,
more than six times the amount in 2001, the first full-year of AGOA.  While
petroleum products accounted for the largest portion of AGOA imports, non-oil
AGOA trade totaled $3.4 billion in 2007; more than double the amount in
2001.  Several non-oil sectors experienced
sizable increases during this period, including apparel, footwear, vehicles,
fruits and nuts, prepared vegetables, leather products, cut flowers,
prepared seafood, and essential oils.

The United
States obligated $505 million to trade capacity building
(TCB) activities in sub-Saharan
Africa in FY2007, up 26 percent from
FY2006.  Cumulative U.S. TCB
to sub-Saharan Africa from FY2001 to FY2007
totaled $1.6 billion.

In February 2008, President Bush and Rwandan President
Kagame signed the United States-Rwanda Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), which
will enter into force following approval by the United States Senate and the
Rwandan Parliament.  The Administration is currently exploring the
possibility of launching BIT negotiations with other sub-Saharan African

The United
States was a leading provider of foreign direct investment
to Africa.  At year-end 2006, the
U.S. direct investment position rose
52 percent from 2001, to $13.8 billion.  U.S. direct investment in Africa promotes
economic development, supports U.S. trade with the region, and
enhances U.S.-African business partnerships.

In February 2008, President Bush announced that the
Overseas Private Investment Corporation would support five new private equity
investment funds focused on sub-Saharan Africa,
with a combined target capitalization of $875 million.

The sixth annual meeting of the U.S.-Sub-Saharan Africa
Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum (“the AGOA Forum”) was held in Ghana
in July 2007.  The official U.S. delegation, led by U.S. Trade Representative
Susan C. Schwab, included senior representatives from more than a dozen
U.S. government agencies. 
Ministers and senior officials from nearly all AGOA beneficiary countries
participated, as well as private sector and civil society representatives from
the United
States and AGOA countries.

The full report can be found on the USTR web site: 

# # #