TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

East Africa, US to pursue trade and investment partnership

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Source: Tax News Global

Following a meeting on the sidelines of the recent African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the East African Community (EAC) member states have issued a joint statement on a new trade and investment partnership.

The USTR Ron Kirk, the EAC’s Secretary General Richard Sezibera, the Burundian Minister of Commerce Victoire Ndikumana, the Kenyan Minister for Trade Moses Wetang'ula, the Rwandan Minister of Trade and Industry François Kanimba, the Tanzanian Minister for Industry, Trade, and Marketing Abdallah Kigoda, and the Ugandan Minister of Trade and Industry Amelia Kyambadde, were all involved in the meeting on June 14, 2012, in Washington, D.C.

In a joint statement, the ministers said: "Recognizing the importance of strengthening the economic links between the US and East Africa, our governments jointly resolve to pursue a new trade and investment partnership between the US and the EAC. This new partnership will build on the foundations of our existing trade and investment relationship, including AGOA and the US-EAC Trade and Investment Framework Agreement.

“Under this new partnership,” it was added, “we will work together to provide new business opportunities to US and EAC firms by reducing trade barriers, improving the business environment, encouraging open investment regimes, and enhancing our two-way trade.”

It was agreed that, initially, the US and EAC will explore a regional investment treaty, a trade facilitation agreement, continued trade capacity building assistance, and a commercial dialogue. "These agreements and other activities that we will pursue will help to promote EAC regional integration, economic growth, and expand and diversify US-EAC trade and investment," the ministers stated. "They could also serve as building blocks towards a more comprehensive trade agreement over the long term.”