TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Liberia: US trade delegation in country

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Source: Liberian Observer

A high power United States Trade Delegation, headed by Deputy U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Demetrios Marantis, arrived in Liberia on yesterday on a four-day visit.

The American Trade Delegation is in the country to acquaint itself with trade relations between Liberia and the United States.

While in the country, the delegation will hold talks with high-ranking Liberian Government officials and host a one-day forum today on “U.S.-Liberia Trade & Investment Relationship.”

The forum will be held at the U.S. Embassy’s Public Diplomacy Section; beginning 10:30 a.m.

A statement issued by the Public Diplomacy Section of the U.S Embassy in Monrovia yesterday invited media institutions to send representatives to cover the event not later than 9:30a.m.

It may be recalled that in 2009, U.S President Barack Obama nominated Ambassador Demetrios Marantis for this position.

The U.S Deputy Trade Representative was on May 6, 2009 confirmed by the U.S Senate.

Mr. Marantis is responsible for U.S. trade negotiations and enforcement in Asia and Africa. He also leads USTR global initiatives on trade and development, labor, and the environment.

The visit of the U.S Trade envoy to Liberia comes at a time when Liberian entrepreneurs have increase the production and exportation of “made in Liberia” products to the U.S under the United States’ Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)-an instrument that allows certain African countries the opportunity to export their locally made products to the U.S market.

Liberia, a traditional partner of the United States, is on the brink of ceasing this opportunity to increase its volume of trade with the United States, especially by exporting value-added made in Liberia products.

It may be recalled that on February 7, 2011, the U.S Government confirmed that Liberia has met all of the AGOA requirements.

This confirmation was published in the U.S Federal Register from which point all qualified Liberia textiles and apparels will receive duty-free treatment when imported into the U.S.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf recently challenged Liberian entrepreneurs to take advantage offer to them under the AGOA.

The Liberian leader spoke in Sinkor, Monrovia during when she visited the headquarters of the Liberia Women Sewing Project (LWSP), a Liberian-owned textile and clothing sewing center in the area.

The LWSP is considering exporting high-quality made in Liberia textiles to the U.S soon. The President described this decision as a milestone for the Government.

She observed that Liberian manufacturers and exporters of Liberian made textiles and clothing would improve the country’s lingering trade deficit.

The President also noted that the AGOA program will help Liberian manufacturers of textile and apparel gain a competitive edge against manufacturers from other parts of the world.

She urged all small and large Liberian businesses, to explore opportunities to export Liberian goods and manufactures under preferential terms, whether under the AGOA, or any other special arrangements with the Mano River Union members and China.

The President observed that the Liberian Government implemented the necessary systems and laws in the shortest possible time among sub-Saharan African countries.

“The Liberian Government,” the President indicated “was able to prove to the U.S Government that it had the capacity and the manpower to implement a system (AGOA/ VISA) that could stop and detect illegal trade in textile and clothing.”

“The ongoing implementation efforts,” according to the President “will cut across Government, involving Finance (Customs) and Justice.”

During the President’s visit to the LWSP, the organization disclosed that it had already begun exporting textiles to the United States under the African Growth and Opportunity Act, the first since Liberia was approved for the project 2 years ago.

Under the Act, the group, certified as the first fair trade factory in Liberia is exporting products free of custom duties.

The Managing Director of the group, Chidegar Liberty, speaking during the inspection of the facilities by the President, said the group is exporting 5-thousand T-shirts to the United States, upon the order of a textile company.

Mr. Liberty said the T-shirts are unique as they were made in Liberia with fabric of cotton grown in Africa under good working conditions.

0Copyright Liberian Observer - All Rights Reserved. This article cannot be re-published without the express written consent of the Liberian Observer. Please contact us for more information or to request publishing permission.



“ Latest AGOA Trade Data currently available on AGOA.info


Click here to view a sector profile of Liberia's bilateral trade with the United States, disaggregated by total exports and imports, AGOA exports and GSP exports.


Other regularly updated trade statistics on AGOA.info include: (click each link to view)

  • AGOA-Beneficiary Countries’ AGOA and GSP Trade Aggregates

  • AGOA Trade by Industry Sector

  • Apparel Trade under AGOA’s Wearing Apparel Provisions

  • Latest Apparel Quotas under AGOA

  • Bilateral Trade Data for all AGOA-eligible countries individually.