TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Africa: Great opportunity lies between oil and textiles on continent

Monday, 14 May 2012

Source: US State Department

The Trade Advisory Committee on Africa meets with U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk in Washington to discuss trade policy and initiatives in Africa.

The Trade Advisory Committee on Africa (TACA) met with U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk on May 11 in Washington to discuss trade policy and initiatives in Africa. This TACA meeting, the first of 2012, was held in advance of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum the United States will host in mid-June.

Committee members represent financial institutions, trade associations, academia and nongovernmental organizations interested in advancing U.S.-Africa trade.

Kirk highlighted President Obama's new presidential policy directive for Africa, which will allow for broader U.S. engagement with nations of the continent. He also cited the potential for bilateral investment treaties to accelerate growth between the U.S. and African countries. One such treaty currently is being negotiated with Mauritius.

Renewing AGOA's Third Country Fabric Provision before its September 30 expiration remains a top administration priority, Kirk said. TACA members agreed, but also cited the importance of other issues such as agribusiness and infrastructure development to the future of U.S.-Africa trade.

They suggested that involving more U.S. government agencies and the private sector, and building relationships with more government officials in Africa would promote growth on the continent.

"Africa has enormous resources," Kirk said. "And somewhere between petroleum and textiles is great opportunity to do much more."