US begins investigation into trade with Sub-Saharan Africa
The US International Trade Commission has initiated an investigation into recent developments in the country's trade and investment with sub-Saharan Africa, as well as the region's trade performance and export prospects.
In requesting the investigation, the Office of the US Trade Representative said that as the US works to encourage fair and reciprocal trade with African partners it is important to have factual information on where the US is succeeding in African markets, where there are the greatest prospects for increased trade and investment, and the factors that could impede that progress.
USTR Ambassador Robert Lighthizer said the US was also interested in similar information on the region's exports to the US, including those under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
The major focus of the investigation will be US trade flows in goods and services with sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries. The ITC aims to identify the sectors in which US exports and imports to and from SSA have increased the most, in both value and percentage terms, and the key factors behind this growth. It will also identify the SSA countries where US exports and imports have increased the most, as well as US SME exports to SSA and the challenges they face.
Market profiles will be created for Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, and South Africa, which will include a summary of recent developments in regional integration efforts, including progress on the negotiation of the Continental Free Trade Agreement, and the AGOA strategies that have been developed by SSA countries.
The ITC says it will hold a public hearing in connection with the investigation on 23 January in Washington DC. It expects to transmit its final report to the USTR by 30 April.