Details Of The Trade And Development Act Of 2000 May 17, 2000

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 17, 2000

May 17, 2000

SUMMARY. This bipartisan legislation 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 increase their participation in the benefits of the global economy. And, it will contribute to the continuation of our own strong economic performance by encouraging the opening of markets and the reduction of poverty in countries with hundreds of millions of potential consumers of American exports.

STRENGTHENING OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH AFRICA THROUGH THE AFRICAN GROWTH AND OPPORTUNITY ACT. This Act promises to deepen our economic partnership with Africa and expand two-way trade to the benefit of both partners. It will also encourage SSA countries to undertake economic reforms and engage in the world economy. As reform spurs growth in Africa, it will create new and bigger markets for U.S. exports, as the following statistics indicate:

AGOA lies in America's interest because it promotes the types of reforms in Africa that will make sub-Saharan nations better allies and better trading partners. It has the support of virtually all African governments, including that of South Africa. The Act's specific provisions will:

STRENGTHENING OUR TIES TO THE CARIBBEAN THROUGH THE U.S.-CARIBBEAN BASIN TRADE PARTNERSHIP ACT. In recent years, the countries of the Caribbean Basin have formed an increasingly important export market for our goods, as the following figures illustrate:

But Hurricanes Mitch and Georges of 1998 took a terrible toll -- $12 billion in damages, by some estimates -- on the nations of the Caribbean Basin. Forming a complement to the disaster relief the U.S. has already provided, CBTPA will help CBI countries get back on their feet and grow over the long-term. That will help not only U.S. exports; it will create the conditions in which healthy democracies can thrive. Specifically, CBTPA will:


BENEFITS OF FREER TRADE. Since the creation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade in 1948, Democratic and Republican Administrations, working in partnership with Congress, have concluded eight negotiating Rounds, signed hundreds of bilateral trade agreements, and opened markets for American goods. All this has helped to:

Since the conclusion of the Uruguay Round in 1994, a more open world economy has helped American exports rise by over $200 billion (51 percent). Export expansion accounted for more than one-quarter of U.S. economic growth between 1992 and 1998. Average real wages have grown 6.3 percent under President Clinton, with export-related jobs paying 15 percent more on average than non-export-related jobs.

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