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Ambassador Kirk Opens the AGOA Ministerial Forum

Today United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk participated in the Ministerial Opening Ceremony of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center. Ambassador Kirk and Kenyan Minister of Trade Amos Kimunya were the two keynote speakers at the opening ceremony. Ambassador Kirk highlighted the importance of U.S. and sub-Saharan African trade relations and the potential for U.S. companies to invest in sub-Saharan Africa.

Ambassador Kirk also hosted the AGOA plenary session entitled “New Strategies for Expanding US-sub-Saharan African Trade” with Zambian Minister of Commerce, Trade, and Industry Felix Mutati. Ambassador Kirk and Minister Mutati discussed potential ways to remove trade barriers between the U.S. and African countries and how to stimulate more economic growth for sub-Saharan African countries through duty-free exports into the U.S. market.

After the plenary session was over, Ambassador Kirk held a roundtable discussion with U.S. and African reporters to discuss AGOA and U.S. investment in Sub-Saharan Africa.

AGOA offers qualified sub-Saharan countries under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) to export goods to the U.S. duty-free. In 2009, two-way trade between the U.S. and Africa totaled $62 billion. U.S. imports from AGOA-related trade under the Generalized System of Preferences totaled $33.7 billion in 2009.