Strengthening Our Economic Partnership With Africa And The Caribbean Basin


Thursday, May 18, 2000


"The legislation I sign today is about more than development and trade. It's about transforming our relationship with two regions full of good people trying to build good futures who are very important to our own future."

President Bill Clinton
Thursday, May 18, 2000

Today, at the White House, President Clinton signed into law the Trade and Development Act of 2000. The measure, which includes the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the U.S.-Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA), and other important provisions, advances U.S. economic and security interests by strengthening our relationship with regions of the world that are making progress in the areas of economic development and political reform. It expands two-way trade and creates incentives for the countries of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and the Caribbean Basin to continue reforming their economies and participate more fully in the global economy.

Strengthening our Partnership with Africa. The 48 countries of sub-Saharan Africa make up a market of 700 million people, offering enormous potential for U.S. exporters. The AGOA promises to deepen our economic partnership with Africa, and encourages SSA countries to undertake economic reforms and engage in the world economy, leading to increased investment, economic growth, and poverty reduction. Among other provisions, the Act will:

Strengthening our Ties to the Caribbean. The 23 independent countries of the Caribbean Basin region together formed the sixth-largest export market for U.S. goods last year. But the devastation of Hurricanes Mitch and Georges in 1998 set the regional economy back. The CBTPA will help repair the damage, promote long-term growth, and create conditions in which democracies can thrive. Among other provisions, the CBTPA will:

Working to Create Opportunity. Today's legislation is part of President Clinton's agenda to reduce poverty and stimulate economic growth while creating opportunities in the global economy. The President is working to:

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