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The Trade And Development Act Of 2000, May 18, 2000
THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
May 18, 2000
THE TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT ACT OF 2000: STRENGTHENING
OUR ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP WITH SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA AND THE CARIBBEAN BASIN
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
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
Expand the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program to
provide duty-free treatment to virtually all products exported to the U.S. from
sub-Saharan Africa. The GSP program provides preferential tariff treatment for
imports of developing countries that satisfy certain eligibility requirements.
Institutionalize a high-level economic dialogue and take initial
steps toward consideration of a Free Trade Area.
Protect African workers and U.S. jobs through the creation of tough
safeguards against trans-shipment; i.e., shipping an item through a beneficiary
country that was in fact manufactured in a third country so as to gain illegal
access to the American market on preferential terms.
Require that human rights and internationally recognized worker
rights be respected.
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:
Expand the CBI program to extend preferential tariff treatment to
textile and apparel products assembled from U.S. fabric that have been excluded
from the program. This will encourage additional U.S. exports of cotton and
yarn and U.S. investment in the region, improving the global competitive
position of the U.S. textile industry.
Extend preferential tariff treatment to textile handicrafts and all
non-textile products currently excluded from such treatment under the existing
Caribbean Basin Initiative.
Conditions countries' eligibility for these expanded trade
benefits on fulfillment of WTO obligations, protection of intellectual property
rights, cooperation in counter-narcotics efforts, and respect for core labor
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:
Debt Relief: Helped lead our G-7 partners to adopt the
Cologne Debt Initiative, which will reduce the debts of over 30 of the poorest
countries by an estimated 70 percent when combined with previous efforts.
Infectious Disease: Proposed in his budget this year a $1
billion tax incentive aimed at stimulating the development of vaccines for poor
countries, a $50 million contribution to the Global Alliance for Vaccines
Initiative, and a $100 million increase in foreign assistance for AIDS
prevention and care. He has also appealed to the World Bank and other
multilateral development banks to increase low interest loans for infectious
diseases by $400 million to $900 million.
Basic Education/Combating Child Labor: Proposed in his
budget this year a 50 percent increase in U.S. assistance for improving access
to basic education and combating child labor in developing countries, including
$45 million for the International Program to Eliminate Child Labor, and $55
million in new funding for targeted bilateral educational aid to developing