USTR's Office of African Affairs develops and coordinates U.S. trade and investment policy for the 49 countries of sub-Saharan Africa. It leads the negotiation and implementation of U.S. trade and investment policies and objectives in the region. The Administration seeks both to expand markets for U.S. 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 U.S. businesses as an emerging market for American exports. Between 2000 and 2010, six of the ten fastest-growing economies in the world were in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Africa Office oversees implementation of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), a trade preference program enacted in 2000 that is at the center of U.S.-African engagement on trade and investment. By providing duty-free entry into the United States for almost all African products, AGOA has helped expand and diversify African exports to the United States, while at the same time fostering an improved business environment in many African countries through eligibility requirements. In August 2012, legislation was enacted to extend AGOA’s important third country fabric provision to 2015. 40 sub-Saharan African countries qualified for AGOA benefits. The Africa Office works closely with other U.S. agencies, such as USAID, to provide trade capacity building assistance for eligible African countries to make the most of AGOA's trade benefits. This includes USAID funding to support the work of the three African Regional Trade Hubs located in Accra, Ghana; Gaborone, Botswana; and Nairobi, Kenya.
The Africa Office also leads U.S. Government interagency engagement with sub-Saharan African partners on trade and investment issues, including under our eleven trade and investment framework agreements (TIFAs) with sub-Saharan African countries and regional economic organizations. The United States also has a Trade, Investment, and Development Cooperative Agreement with the five countries of the Southern African Customs Union (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland) and bilateral investment treaties (BITs) with six sub-Saharan African partners. USTR’s Africa Office is also leading U.S. efforts to forge a new trade and investment partnership with the East African Community and is helping to implement the President’s new strategic policy for Africa.
The Africa Office maintains an ongoing dialogue with sub-Saharan African countries on issues related to the WTO Doha negotiations. It also works closely with other Africa trade policy stakeholders, including Members of Congress (testimony on U.S.-Africa Relations), the African and American private sectors, and civil society in the United States and sub-Saharan Africa.
U.S.-Sub-Saharan Africa Trade Data
U.S. merchandise exports to sub-Saharan Africa during 2011 were $21.1 billion, up 23% compared to 2010.
Top U.S. export markets were South Africa ($7.2 billion; mainly machinery, vehicles and parts, gold powder, non-crude oil), Nigeria ($4.8 billion; mainly cereals, vehicles and parts, machinery, non-crude oil), Angola ($1.5 billion; mainly machinery, aircraft parts, poultry, iron/steel), Ghana ($1.1 billion; mainly machinery, vehicles and parts, non-crude oil, cereals), and Ethiopia ($689 million; mainly aircraft and parts, cereals, machinery).
Top export categories were Machinery ($4.0 billion; up 15%), Vehicles and Parts ($3.5 billion; up 42%), Non-Crude Oil ($1.8 billion; up 30%); cereals ($1.7 billion; up 31%); and Aircraft and Parts ($1.5 billion; up 32%).
U.S. merchandise imports from sub-Saharan Africa during 2011 were $74.2 billion, up 14% compared to 2010.
Top U.S. suppliers were Nigeria ($33.7 billion; mainly crude oil), Angola ($13.5 billion; mainly crude oil), South Africa ($9.5 billion; mainly precious stones and metals, vehicles and parts, iron and steel), Gabon ($4.5 billion; mainly crude oil), and Chad ($3.1 billion; mainly crude oil).
Top import categories were Crude Oil ($59.8 billion; up 13%), Precious Stones and Metals ($4.3 billion; up 9.8%), Vehicles and Parts ($2.1 billion; up 35%), Cocoa Products ($1.2 billion; up 22%) and Apparel ($929 million; up 14%).
AGOA imports (including GSP) during 2011 totaled $53.8 billion, up 21% compared to 2010. During this period, non-oil AGOA imports totaled $5.0 billion, up by 22%.
Top AGOA suppliers were Nigeria ($31.0 billion; mainly crude oil), Angola ($11.8 billion; mainly crude oil), South Africa ($3.7 billion; mainly vehicles and parts, iron/steel, fruits and nuts), Chad ($3.0 billion; mainly crude oil) and Republic of the Congo ($1.9 billion; mainly crude oil).
Leading AGOA import categories were Crude Oil ($48.8 billion; up 21%), Transportation Equipment ($2.1 billion; up 31%), Minerals and Metals ($1.0 billion; up 27%), Textiles and Apparel ($855.9 million; up 17%), Chemicals and Related Products ($471.6 million; up 28%) and Agricultural Products ($359.0 million; down 14%).
Top U.S. import suppliers of non-crude oil AGOA imports were South Africa ($3.7 billion; mainly vehicles and parts, iron and steel, fruits and nuts), Ghana ($454 million; mainly crude oil, cocoa products, vegetables, apparel), Lesotho ($314 million; mainly apparel), Kenya ($292 million; mainly apparel, fruit and nuts, cut flowers), Cameroon ($173 million; mostly crude oil, cocoa products), Mauritius ($169 million; mainly apparel, sugar, prepared tuna, sunglasses), and Namibia ($134 million; mostly zinc).