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US plans bilateral free trade with Africa

President of the United States, Donald Trump
The US
government has said that it was currently looking for African
countries that would be interested in bilateral free trade agreements with it.
Mr Peter Haas, the US Deputy Assistant Secretary for Trade Policy
and Negotiation, told Journalists in a teleconference that it was a big deal
for the US to be looking towards Africa.
“What we were looking for are African countries that would
be interested in having bilateral free trade agreements with us.
“I think one of
the things that I would like to point out is that this is a kind of big
deal for us, to be looking at countries in Africa for possible free trade
“We are also
targeting meetings with the African Union to discuss the future of the
US.-Africa trade relationship.
“We will be looking at countries that express interest to
determine which ones make sense, both in terms of capacity, readiness, and all
of those things,’’ he said.
Haas, however, said that it was too early to decide or disclose
the African country or countries his government might start negotiations with
on the proposed bilateral free trade agreements.
The deputy assistant secretary also disclosed the US effort
at discussing the benefits of biotechnology with African countries and the
rest of the world.
“We will be discussing the promise of biotechnology for
agriculture, health, and many other sectors in Africa.
“I think all of you know that biotechnology allows for intentional
changes in plants or animals to improve outcomes in agriculture or health,’’ he

Haas said that the US government was deeply committed to increasing food
security in Africa by embracing technology, modernising policies, as well as
increasing trade.

The US Trade Relations Office of African Affairs develops and
coordinates US trade and investment policy for the 49 countries of sub-Saharan
It leads the negotiation and implementation of US trade and
investment policies and objectives in the region.
The Administration seeks both to expand markets for US goods and
services in sub-Saharan Africa and to facilitate efforts to bolster African
economic development through increased global, regional, and bilateral trade.
 Sub-Saharan Africa presents many opportunities for US businesses as an
emerging market for American exports.
In 2017, seven of the 20 fastest growing economies in the world
were in sub-Saharan Africa according to the IMF.
To that end, the Africa Office also will help to implement the
Trump Administration’s vision to pursue bilateral free trade agreements with
sub-Saharan Africa that could serve as model for others in the region.
Import volumes in US/African trade relations for 2015 and 2016
were $25.38 and $26.54 billions, respectively.

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