U.S. Trade and Investment Relationship with Sub-Saharan Africa: The African Growth and Opportunity Act
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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Following the end of the apartheid era in South Africa in the early 1990s, the United States sought to increase economic relations with Sub-Saharan Africa. President Clinton instituted several measures that dealt with investment, debt relief, and trade. Congress required the President to develop a trade and development policy for Africa. The economic challenges facing Africa today are serious. Unlike the period from 1960 to 1973, when economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa was relatively strong, since 1973 the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa have grown at rates well below other developing countries. There are some signs of improvement, but problems such as HIVAIDS and the debt burden are constraining African economic growth. In May 2000, Congress approved a new U.S. trade and investment policy for Sub-Saharan Africa in the African Growth and Opportunity Act AGOA Title I, P.L. 106-200. U.S. trade with and investment in Sub-Saharan Africa have comprised only 1-2 of U.S. totals for the world. AGOA extends preferential treatment to imports from eligible countries that are pursuing market reform measures. Data show that U.S. imports under AGOA are mostly energy products, but imports to date of other products have grown. AGOA mandated that U.S. officials meet regularly with their counterparts in Sub-Saharan Africa, and six of these meetings have been held.
- Government and Political Science