United States and Mauritius Conclude Meeting to Strengthen Trade and Investment Relations
Pointe Aux Piments, Mauritius – U.S. and Mauritian officials met in Mauritius on February 5-6 to discuss implementation of the United States-Mauritius Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).
The meetings, which were co-led by Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa Florizelle Liser and Mauritian Foreign Affairs, International Trade, and Cooperation Minister Madan Dulloo, were the first held under the TIFA’s bilateral Council on Trade and Investment (TIFA Council), which monitors trade and investment relations, identifies opportunities for expanding trade and investment, and provides a forum for addressing challenges in the two countries’ trade ties.
“I’m pleased that, within six months of its signing, we are using our TIFA agreement with Mauritius to deepen and strengthen our engagement with that country and to stimulate our relationship with key African trading partners,” said Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Karan Bhatia via digital video conference from Washington. “Our TIFA Council is an important part of our continuing effort to improve the U.S.-Mauritian trade and investment relationship.”
The meeting provided the opportunity to set priorities, identify objectives, establish benchmarks, outline impediments, and chart the way forward for work under the TIFA. During the TIFA Council meeting, officials from the United States and Mauritius explored common objectives – including cooperation in the World Trade Organization, implementation of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, export diversification, trade and investment promotion, and economic development. They also examined opportunities for a more comprehensive trade and investment relationship.
The TIFA Council reviewed a common workplan that the United States and Mauritius will jointly undertake in order to implement the TIFA, including a wide-range of programs and activities to support, facilitate, and ensure progress and success in strengthening the U.S.-Mauritian trade and investment relationship.
In September 2006, the United States and Mauritius signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) aimed at strengthening and expanding trade and investment ties between the United States and Mauritius. The TIFA provides a formal mechanism to address bilateral trade issues and helps enhance trade and investment relations between the United States and Mauritius. The TIFA encourages new trade and investment opportunities in both countries by establishing a cooperative forum for implementing specific strategies to enhance the U.S.-Mauritius trade and investment relationship.
Created by the TIFA, the United States-Mauritius Council on Trade and Investment (TIFA Council) addresses a wide range of trade and investment issues that include, but are not limited to, trade capacity building, intellectual property, labor, environmental issues, and enhancing the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises in trade and investment. The TIFA Council facilitates an ongoing dialogue that is helping to increase commercial and investment opportunities by identifying and working to remove impediments to trade and investment flows between the United States and Mauritius.
Total two-way trade between Mauritius and the United States was valued at $234 million in the first eleven months of 2006, virtually unchanged from the same period in 2005, primarily due to decreases in Mauritian textile and apparel exports that were balanced by increases in Mauritian exports of seafood, jewelry, eyewear, perfume, and agricultural products. The leading U.S. exports to Mauritius are jewelry and diamonds. U.S. imports from Mauritius are primarily apparel, seafood, diamonds, perfumes, and sugar. In the first eleven months of 2006, U.S. imports from Mauritius under AGOA, including its GSP provisions, were valued at $147.1 million, a 4.7 percent increase over the same period in 2005.