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Weekly Trade Spotlight: Two-way Trade with Tanzania

The United States is highlighting our bilateral trade and investment partnership with Tanzania with a visit from United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk this week. Ambassador Kirk’s visit to Tanzania specifically focused on how various U.S. initiatives like the Millennium Challenge Account, the Partnership for Growth, Feed the Future, and the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) are strengthening Tanzania’s growing economy.

In 2010, U.S. goods exports to Tanzania totaled $164 million - 3.6 percent increase over 2009. U.S. exports to Tanzania include machinery, textiles, agricultural products, and rubber. U.S. goods imports from Tanzania totaled $43 million and consisted primarily of spices, coffee, precious stones, edible fruits and nuts, lac and vegetable saps, and knit apparel. Of total U.S. imports from Tanzania, $2.1 million entered the U.S. duty –free under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). These duty-free imports included apparel products, semiprecious stones, and handicrafts.

The United States acknowledges that there is room for growth and diversification of trade in both directions of this trade relationship. As a result, the Tanzanian Ministry of Trade recently expressed interest in establishing a Tanzania Trade Center in the U.S. to promote Tanzanian products in the American market.

By providing duty-free access to the U.S. market for products like processed foods, apparel, and footwear, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is a powerful tool for increasing and diversifying trade between the United States and various African countries, including Tanzania. AGOA provides incentives that promote economic and political reform and trade expansion in the 37 eligible sub-Saharan African countries. There has been much progress made under AGOA to date, but there is a need to do more to increase U.S.-Africa trade and investment.

Following his visit to Tanzania this week, Ambassador Kirk is also attending and co-chairing the 10th Annual AGOA Forum in Lusaka, Zambia to discuss strategies for increasing trade under AGOA with Tanzania and other AGOA eligible countries.