US, Mauritius hold TIFA consultations
Deputy United States Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis has led a US delegation to Mauritius for talks with the local government under the US-Mauritius Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), to discuss a broad range of issues relating to their bilateral trade and investment relationship.
This was the fifth TIFA Council meeting with Mauritius, and the discussions included the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the on-going US-Mauritius Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) discussions, intellectual property rights (IPR), services trade, and information communication and technology (ICT) principles.
As a result of the TIFA discussions, the two governments agreed on a number of key issues, including conclusion of the BIT, negotiation of a joint statement on ICT principles, technical support on IPR, and development of a new AGOA strategy.
In remarks to the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Marantis confirmed that Mauritius had “made full use of the opportunities under the TIFA to liberalize and expand trade and investment,” while the imminent conclusion of the BIT “will help to reinforce Mauritius’s trade and economic reform efforts and improve Mauritius’s already favourable investment climate by providing high standards of investment protection”.
He added that Mauritius “serves as a model for other sub-Saharan African countries in its use of the generous trade opportunities that the US provides to African countries under AGOA”.
Mauritius’s AGOA exports to the US grew by 16% during 2010, in part due to a rise in apparel, toys, jewellery, eyeglasses and value-added agricultural exports.
Marantis pointed out that, while AGOA presents a key opportunity for AGOA beneficiary countries to export a broad range of goods duty-free to the US, Mauritius is one of a handful of AGOA beneficiary countries that has developed and implemented its AGOA strategy, exporting a diverse range of value-added, competitive products to the US.