USTR Katherine Tai Surveys Africa on AGOA

On 12 July 2023, the United States Trade Representative (#USTR) Katherine Tai met with Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana, Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni and other senior members of the delegation from South Africa.

The discussions centered around the bilateral trade between US and South Africa. Both sides expressed a keen interest in the roadmap for the African Growth and Opportunity Act (#AGOA).

In 2022, US imported from the 35 AGOA countries some USD 30 billion worth of goods, of which more than 1/3 or USD 10 billion was facilitated by the AGOA preferential regime. Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Madagascar and Ghana are the top 5 African countries benefitting the most from AGOA based on volume of goods exported to US.

On 18 July 2023, USTR Katherine Tai and Dr Peter Mutuku Mathuki, Secretary-General of East African Community (#EAC), co-chaired the US-EAC Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (#TIFA) council meeting which celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2023.

Tai took the opportunity to explore possible pathways for fostering trade between US and Africa. She also highlighted the MoU that the Office of the USTR recently signed with the African Continental Free Trade Area (#AfCFTA) Secretariat in a bid to boost trade.

USTR Tai Meets with Kenyan President Ruto

Since 2020, US and Kenya have been negotiating a bilateral Free Trade Agreement (#FTA) which will be the first one by the US with an African country. This breakthrough agreement might serve as a pilot or stepping stone towards another agreement with the AU covering the whole African continent.

Katherine Tai underscored that the US Congress has the final say on #AGOA and the question will be taken up and debated in due course. She thanked the participants to their insightful feedback and welcomed comments and suggestions from other stakeholders. Later in the year, South Africa is set to host the #AGOA Forum to continue the dialogue on this important subject matter.