News from the USTR: Ambassador Froman Concludes Africa Trip

The Office of the United States Trade Representative stated in a press release that Ambassador Michael Froman returned on July 2 from a four-day visit to Sub-Saharan Africa. Ambassador Froman had joined President Obama in Senegal and Tanzania to highlight U.S. commitment to enhancing economic engagement with Africa.

Ambassador Froman met with country leaders to discuss business opportunities, investment, and ways that the private sector can contribute to and benefit from Africa’s rise. In addition, Ambassador Froman held discussions with African Development Bank President Donald Kaberuka and Secretary General of the East African Community Richard Sezibera on cooperation for two new initiatives announced by President Obama – Power Africa and Trade Africa – which aim to increase electricity generation.

According to the USTR, total two-way trade between the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa in 2012 was valued at $72.3 billion. U.S. goods exports to Sub-Saharan Africa were up $1.5 billion, or 7.1 percent, from 2011, and up 277 percent from 2002. African exports to the U.S. totaled $49.7 billion in 2012, and non-oil exports under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) have more than tripled since enactment of AGOA in 2001.

Weekly News – U.S. aims to invest more in Africa

Photo: U.S. State Dept./Flickr

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recent trip to South Africa echoes the passage of the renewal of the third-country fabric (TCF) provision (under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)) by Congress last week.

Although there are other players on the continent, we should not fear the competitions. As a recent article at New York Times points out, we should be grateful to China for its investments in the infrastructure. Thanks to its investments, we are now able to ship products faster and more cheaply from the local markets in Africa to Walmart warehouses in the U.S.

The TCF provision lifts the import duties of fabric and apparel and helps to support jobs and the manufacturing industry in the Sub-Saharan Africa region.

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