Clinton Discusses African Growth at 2010 AGOA Conference

Posted on by on August 10th, 2010 | 0 Comments »

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton got right to the point in her remarks at the August 3, 2010 annual forum on U.S. trade with Africa and the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), noting that corruption, poor infrastructure and trade barriers continue to hold back Africa’s progress. “…we have not seen the diversification of growth of exports that AGOA was expected to spur,” stated Clinton. “So as we praise Africa’s progress, we must at the same time be clear-eyed about the challenges that persist…”

AGOA was signed into law in May, 2000 with a goal of providing incentives for African countries to open up their economies and increase trade. Among other incentives, AGOA allows 6,400 different types of goods to be exported to the U.S. without duties.
Below are a few additional excerpts from Secretary of State Clinton’s speech.
“…Many of Africa’s major challenges – from inadequate infrastructure to political instability to corruption – also present opportunities for market-based solutions, creative partnerships, and responsible government action…”
“…Today, the nations of Africa trade with each other less than any region of the world. High tariffs – on average 50 percent higher than those of comparable countries in Latin America or Asia –border officials who demand bribes for permitting goods and people to cross, cumbersome customs procedures, inadequate infrastructure all hamper trade among African countries. It takes about a day and a half to clear exports out of Namibia but then it takes an additional 29 days for them to enter neighboring Angola. The lack of regional economic integration compounds the weaknesses of individual African markets instead of consolidating their strengths. And it prevents African businesses from building the foundations they need to fully and effectively participate in global trade…”
Read the full text or watch a video of Secretary of State Clinton’s remarks at the 2010 AGOA Forum on U.S.-sub-saharan African Trade and Economic Cooperation.

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