The Trade And Development Act Of 2000, May 18, 2000

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 18, 2000

May 18, 2000

TODAY, PRESIDENT CLINTON WILL SIGN INTO LAW THE TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT ACT OF 2000. The measure includes the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the U.S.-Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA) and other important provisions. This package advances U.S. economic and security interests by strengthening our relationship with regions of the world that are making significant strides in terms of economic development and political reform. It will expand two-way trade and create incentives for the countries of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and the Caribbean Basin to continue reforming their economies and participate more fully in the benefits of the global economy.

STRENGTHENING OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH AFRICA THROUGH THE AFRICAN GROWTH AND OPPORTUNITY ACT. The 48 nations of sub-Saharan African make up a market of 700 million people that offers enormous commercial potential for U.S. exporters. In 1998, for example, our exports to Africa amounted to more than $6.5 billion -- more than 45 percent greater than those to all the countries of the former Soviet Union combined. Yet, U.S. trade with Africa still represented merely 1 percent of our total trade that year. There is room for our trading relationship to grow and benefit both markets as Africa develops. AGOA will promote reforms in Africa that will leverage efforts to increase investment, expand economic growth, and reduce poverty. Among other provisions, the Act will:

STRENGTHENING OUR TIES TO THE CARIBBEAN THROUGH THE U.S.-CARIBBEAN BASIN TRADE PARTNERSHIP ACT. The 23 independent countries of the Caribbean Basin region together form the sixth largest export market for U.S. goods, totaling $19 billion and absorbing 2.7 percent of U.S. exports in 1999. But the devastation of Hurricanes Mitch and Georges in 1998 set the regional economy back. To help repair the damage and promote long-term growth, the Act, among other provisions, will:

THE TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT ACT OF 2000 IS PART OF PRESIDENT CLINTON'S LARGER TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT AGENDA. For too many poor countries, foreign debt obligations, major public health challenges, (especially HIV/AIDS), and illiteracy and inadequate workforce skills impede efforts to reduce poverty and capitalize on opportunities in the global economy. To meet this three-pronged challenge, the President has:

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