News / Economy

US Eyes Competition with Europe for Africa Trade

Workers arrange fresh roses at the Vermont Flowers export processing zone (EPZ) factory in Kenya's capital Nairobi, March 10, 2011.
Workers arrange fresh roses at the Vermont Flowers export processing zone (EPZ) factory in Kenya's capital Nairobi, March 10, 2011.
Gabe Joselow
— The United States is keeping a close watch on potential European trade deals with African nations as Washington reviews its own preferential trade initiative with the continent. African ministers and U.S. officials discussed trade relations at a forum Monday in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
 
The U.S. is considering an extension to the popular African Growth and Opportunity Act, known as AGOA, an American law that allows sub-Saharan African countries to export certain products to the United States duty free.
 
First signed into law in 2000, the act has already been renewed once, and is set to expire in 2015.
 
U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman has been meeting with African ministers at an AGOA forum in Addis Ababa to work through the details of a new deal.
 
In a conference call with reporters Monday, Froman said one of the big questions is about the impact of African trade talks with the European Union.
 
“I do think there is a challenging issue before the African partner countries about how to work with us on the renewal of AGOA and how it relates to the negotiations that are ongoing with the European Union for economic partnership agreements,” he said.
 
Unlike AGOA, the EU economic partnership agreements would see African nations reciprocate the benefits of duty-free trade by allowing preferential treatment for European imports into African markets.
 
While the American act only covers exports to the United States, and should not be confused with a free-trade agreement, Froman said questions will be raised in Washington about how U.S. companies will benefit if the law is extended.
 
“I imagine there will be significant skepticism in the United States that we should allow one-way access to our market if our firms are being put at a disadvantage,” Froman said.
 
Ultimately, it is the U.S. Congress that will decide whether to approve an extension of the law, and for what period of time.
 
To qualify for AGOA benefits, eligible countries are supposed to demonstrate they are working to improve rule of law, human rights, and to set labor standards. Currently, 39 countries are eligible.
 
In 2012, trade between AGOA countries and the United States was worth about $67 billion, most of it in the form of oil and natural gas exports to the U.S

You May Like

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Nigerian Islamic School Tries to Combat Boko Haram

Kaduna school headmaster teaches his students that what militants are doing is are doing is 'a total misunderstanding of the Islamic religion' More

University Trains Students to Advocate for Deaf People Worldwide

Program prepares graduates to advocate internationally for access to education, jobs for people with disabilities More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7305
JPY
USD
101.53
GBP
USD
0.5830
CAD
USD
1.0656
INR
USD
60.075

Rates may not be current.