TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Joint statement on the US Africa leaders summit and the 13th annual AGOA Forum

Monday, 04 August 2014

Source: US Senate Committee on Finance

The bipartisan leaders of the Senate Finance and Foreign Relations Committees and House Ways and Means and Foreign Affairs Committees issued the following joint statement on the U.S. Africa Leaders Summit and the 13th Annual AGOA Forum:

We welcome the African leaders to the United States on this historic occasion of the first U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit and African Trade Ministers to the 13th Annual AGOA Forum Ministerial. 

Congress envisioned the Summit and Forum in 2000, when it enacted the African Growth and Opportunity Act (“AGOA”) with broad bipartisan support to encourage growth and opportunity in Africa. 

Since its original enactment, AGOA has been the centerpiece of U.S. trade relations with sub-Saharan Africa and has not only enhanced trade, investment, and job creation throughout the continent, but also strengthened its democratic institutions.  AGOA has also contributed to the creation of more than 1 million jobs in Sub-Saharan Africa and more than 100,000 American jobs.

America’s long-term economic security is enhanced by strong economic and political ties with the fastest-growing economies in the world, many of which reside in sub-Saharan Africa.  It is in the interest of the United States to engage and compete in emerging African markets, to boost U.S.-Africa trade and investment, and to renew and strengthen AGOA.  Timely renewal of AGOA, which expires on September 30, 2015, is critical to maintaining and promoting investment opportunities in the region.

Trade has more than tripled since AGOA’s enactment in 2000, and U.S. direct investment in Africa has grown almost six-fold.  However, there is room for further progress and greater opportunities for mutually beneficial trade and investment that promote economic growth, development, poverty reduction, democracy, the rule of law, and stability.  We note that while per capita income in sub-Saharan Africa has grown more than threefold since 2001, nearly half the population in sub-Saharan Africa lives in poverty today.  In addition, diversifying sub-Saharan exports remains a goal of U.S. policy. 

Barriers to U.S. trade and investment in the region continue to inhibit the full potential of the U.S.-African trade relationship.  In addition, obstacles to trade among African countries continue to inhibit economic growth in Africa and contribute to the underutilization of AGOA.  These barriers also prevent sub-Saharan Africa from more fully integrating into global supply chains and inhibit U.S. exports.  Full implementation of the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement would help achieve regional integration and contribute to economic growth in the region.  At the same time, elimination of barriers to trade and investment in Africa, such as high tariffs, forced localization requirements, restrictions on investment, and customs barriers, among others, will strengthen and improve regional and global integration.

Again, we welcome African Leaders and African Trade Ministers and look forward to continuing to work with them to increase economic growth and eliminate barriers to trade within Africa.  The events this week provide an important opportunity to enhance economic and political relations between the United States and Africa.

 

View related news articles

Renewal of AGOA a benefit to both US and Africa

Renewal of AGOA a benefit to both US and Africa

Following the conclusion of the US-Africa Summit in Washington DC last week, it is opportune to reflect on some of the outcomes for SA and Africa. On the eve of the summit, ministers of trade from those African countries that are eligible for the trade preferences under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) called upon the US to seamlessly and timeously extend Agoa...

13 August, 2014
Rep. Karen Bass - Pictures from forum Cannon House event (during 2014 AGOA Forum)

Rep. Karen Bass - Pictures from forum Cannon House event (during 2014 AGOA Forum)

Growth and Opportunity in Africa Forum in coordination with the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit Tuesday, August 5, 2014  [Please note - this event has concluded]   9:00 AM - 12:30 PM Cannon Caucus Room (345 Cannon House Office Building) U.S. House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515 Panel One 9:00 – 10:30 am Moderator: Dr. Monde Muyangwa Africa Program...

11 August, 2014
14 years of AGOA: Why no real Africa intra-trade?

14 years of AGOA: Why no real Africa intra-trade?

When President Bill Clinton signed the African Growth Opportunities Act (AGOA) into law 14 years ago, he offered incentives for African countries to open their economies and build free markets, to move the continent from an aid dependency to a viable trading partner. That is why at their summit hosted by US President Barack Obama in Washington, 50 African heads of states,...

07 August, 2014
African Union head cautions US on Africa

African Union head cautions US on Africa

  If the United States does not take more interest in Africa it is going to lose out, African Union commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said on Thursday. “It's in their advantage to know what's happening in Africa because if they don't come to the party eventually the party will happen without them,” she said in Washington. “Business people really know...

07 August, 2014
US-Africa Leaders Summit: CEOs promise to push AGOA further

US-Africa Leaders Summit: CEOs promise to push AGOA further

The United States House of Representatives on Wednesday hosted an event titled “A Dialogue With African CEOs” that brought together women and minority business owners, chief executives from across Africa and US and SME entrepreneurs. The focus of the panel discussion was to examine possible business partnerships between African business and government with their...

07 August, 2014
US urged by Africa's leaders to extend AGOA trade programme

US urged by Africa's leaders to extend AGOA trade programme

African leaders urged the US on Monday to renew a trade benefits programme giving duty-free access to billions of dollars of African exports for 15 years, saying it would help cement trade relations and boost development in sub-Saharan Africa. President Jacob Zuma, one of nearly 50 African leaders in Washington to attend a three-day summit, said the renewal of the African...

06 August, 2014