Ambassador Marantis Talks Trade and Development in Swaziland
On the first day of his visit to the Kingdom of Swaziland, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis underscored President Obama's desire to use trade as a means of promoting economic development in sub-Saharan Africa.
With Swazi Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini, Marantis discussed how Swaziland could make better use of its trade preferences under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which provides duty free access for 97 percent of Africa's exports to the United States. He also underscored the importance of making progress in meeting AGOA eligibility criteria, particularly internationally recognized worker rights. Ambassador Marantis also met with Swaziland's Trade Minister Jabulile Mashwama, members of the U.S. and Swazi business communities, and representatives of Swaziland's labor groups.
Ambassador Marantis also visited Eswatini Kitchens, which produces jams, chutneys, and chilies for export to the United States under AGOA. Eswatini is a highly successful recipient of technical assistance from USAID's Southern Africa Trade Hub. The tour of the plant, which employs disadvantaged Swazi women, was an opportunity for Ambassador Marantis to see AGOA in action.