U.S.-Africa Trade Dialogue


The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement recently signed by African Heads of State encompasses a market of 1.2 billion people and GDP of more than $2 trillion – creating a single continental market that encourages the free movement of goods, labor and capital and enhances the competitiveness of African businesses. The AfCFTA also creates significant opportunities for businesses from around the world, including U.S. companies which must compete with companies from a range of countries and regions including China, India, Brazil, and the European Union.

The future of the U.S.-Africa economic relationship is likely to be impacted by the AfCFTA as well as developments in global trade and investment policies. The United States, like several other key African trading partners, is re-examining traditional approaches that could significantly impact the U.S.-Africa trading relationship. To date, U.S. trade policy in Africa has been defined by preference programs, notably the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). With only 7 1/2 years left under current AGOA legislation, tougher enforcement of AGOA eligibility criteria focusing on barriers to U.S. trade, and discussions of possible reforms to GSP (on which AGOA builds), the Trump administration has requested a U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) study on U.S.-Africa trade (including trade prospects with 7 African nations), and more recently announced its plans to launch negotiation of a free trade agreement (FTA) with at least one African nation in the near future.

Corporate Council on Africa will bring together key U.S. and African private and public-sector leaders for a roundtable discussion focused on the future and framework of the U.S.-Africa trade and investment relationship. The session will address the current U.S.-Africa trade and investment relationship and will examine the critical steps needed to take the U.S.-Africa economic partnership to the next level.