Author Topic: US-Africa Trade Talks End Without Decision  (Read 167 times)

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US-Africa Trade Talks End Without Decision
« on: August 11, 2017, 02:19:36 AM »
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Talks between African and U.S. officials to review the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) free-trade deal ended Thursday with no decision and a feeling on all sides that it has achieved little since it was set up.

President Donald Trump's top trade negotiator, Robert E. Lighthizer, and other U.S. officials have been in the tiny West African nation of Togo over the past two days to discuss the Clinton-era trade pact with sub-Saharan Africa.

Trump's "America First" campaign has seen him withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, threaten to tear up the North American Free Trade Agreement and seek to renegotiate the U.S.-South Korea free-trade deal. But his administration has said little about Africa, and had not previously mentioned the 2000 AGOA trade agreement.

It is not clear whether the U.S. wants to change the deal before it expires in 2025 or extend it. No decision was made on either count.

AGOA allows tariff-free access for thousands of goods from 38 African nations to U.S. markets.

"The number of countries benefiting from AGOA is very limited, as is the number of sectors," Peter Barlerin, deputy assistant secretary in the U.S. State Department's Bureau of African Affairs, said at the forum Wednesday. "We will see if the situation improves in the coming years, but it is also up to the beneficiary countries to enhance their business climate."



 

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