TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

The AGOA Forum: Promoting sustainable growth in Africa through trade and technology

Friday, 16 August 2013 Published: | Gayle Smith

Source: The White House (Blog)

This week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, U.S. Trade Representative Mike Froman and senior members of the President's economic team joined trade ministers, civil society, and business leaders from across sub-Saharan Africa to focus on "Sustainable Growth through Trade and Technology" at the African Growth and Opportunity Act Forum. The Forum also kicked off the process leading to AGOA’s renewal in 2015.

As the President highlighted on his trip to Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania this summer, Africa is experiencing historic growth. Six of the ten fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa.

The continent has enormous economic potential, and it’s in our interest to help African countries expand trade and investment to fuel their development.

AGOA has transformed the way the United States and Africa interact on trade and economic issues. Since 2001 – the first full year of AGOA trade -- U.S. total trade with sub-Saharan Africa has more than doubled, from $28.2 billion to $72.3 billion in 2012. AGOA enabled U.S. exports to the region to more than triple from $6.9 billion in 2001 to $22.6 billion in 2012. At the same time, AGOA imports (including GSP) to the United States have climbed to $34.9 billion in 2012, more than four times the amount in 2001. That increase in trade has created thousands of new jobs in Africa.

By providing new market opportunities for African exports, especially for non-traditional and value-added products, AGOA has helped African firms become more competitive both in the United States and internationally. Many African businesses that had never previously considered the U.S. market are attending trade shows and getting orders - for Ugandan organic cotton T-shirts, Mauritian seafood, Ghanaian cocoa powder, Ethiopian shoes, and a whole range of products.

AGOA has also been good for the United States. U.S. exports to sub-Saharan Africa have more than tripled as Africa’s growing middle class is increasingly able to buy high-quality products Made in America. African businesses have sought more U.S. inputs, expertise, and joint partnerships, and U.S. investment in Africa is creating good jobs and higher incomes for workers on both sides of the Atlantic.

The challenge now is to expand AGOA’s impact even further. At this week’s Forum, our team focused on further expanding our economic engagement with Africa, paving the way for AGOA’s renewal in 2015, and building a stepladder that furthers Africa’s growth, development and global economic integration. This is the vision we and our partners share, and this week’s discussions at the AGOA Forum will help chart our way forward.

 

US President Obama delivered a video message to the Forum:

 

 

View related news articles

Remarks: AGOA’s future – Dialogue with members of Congress

Remarks: AGOA’s future – Dialogue with members of Congress

Your excellences, distinguished and honored guests, good morning. It is wonderful to be with you today in Addis Ababa, at the headquarters of the African Union, and most importantly, at the 2013 AGOA Forum. Before I begin, I want to take a moment to acknowledge and thank Florie Liser for her leadership and stellar work she has done on AGOA for many years now. I for one am...

14 August, 2013
USTR Mike Froman's address at the AGOA Forum 2013

USTR Mike Froman's address at the AGOA Forum 2013

“Good morning.  Welcome ministers and ambassadors, legislators and Members of Congress, private sector and civil society leaders, ladies and gentlemen.  It is my great honor to be back for the AGOA Forum.  Last year in Washington, I had the opportunity to share with you President Obama’s new U.S. Strategy toward Sub-Saharan Africa.   President...

13 August, 2013
US eyes competition with Europe for Africa trade

US eyes competition with Europe for Africa trade

The United States is keeping a close watch on potential European trade deals with African nations as Washington reviews its own preferential trade initiative with the continent. African ministers and U.S. officials discussed trade relations at a forum Monday in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. The U.S. is considering an extension to the popular African Growth and...

13 August, 2013
Africa: AGOA not imperiled after all?

Africa: AGOA not imperiled after all?

On July 31, 2013, the US Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) - a program established by the Trade Act of 1974 expired semi-surreptitiously; something that may not augur well for a more comprehensive American trade and investment program for Africa. Twin bills (download Bill H.R. 2709 alongside) in the House and Senate to extend GSP provisions until September 2015 simply...

12 August, 2013
Kenya in AGOA 'hitch'

Kenya in AGOA 'hitch'

Kenya continues to benefit from the trade preferences to the US market in the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), but Americans are raising some concerns about corruption. "Part of our ongoing conversation with Kenya is addressing a host of issues in the business environment," David Renz, a counselor for Economic Affairs at the US Embassy in Nairobi said...

12 August, 2013