The International Trade Commission has initiated an investigation into recent developments in U.S. trade and investment with sub-Saharan Africa. In requesting this investigation the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said that as the U.S. works to encourage fair and reciprocal trade with African trading partners it is important to have factual information on where the U.S. is succeeding in African markets, where there are the greatest prospects for increased trade and investment, and the factors that could impede that progress. USTR is also interested in similar information on the region’s trade performance and prospects for its exports to the U.S., including under the African Growth and Opportunity Act.
The major focus of this investigation will be U.S. trade flows in goods and services with SSA countries. The ITC will identify (a) the sectors in which U.S. exports and imports to and from SSA have increased the most, in both value and percentage terms, and the key factors behind this growth, (b) the SSA countries to and from which U.S. exports and imports have increased the most, in both value and percentage terms, and the key factors behind this growth, (c) non-crude petroleum sectors and SSA markets that present the greatest potential for U.S. exports, imports, and foreign direct investment, and (d) U.S. small and medium-sized enterprise exports to SSA and the challenges they face.
The ITC will also provide profiles of the markets in Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, and South Africa; a summary of recent developments in regional integration efforts, including progress on the negotiation of the Continental Free Trade Agreement; and the AGOA strategies that have been developed by SSA countries.
The ITC will hold a public hearing in connection with this investigation Jan. 23 in Washington, D.C. Requests to appear at the hearing are due by Jan. 9, pre-hearing briefs and statements are due by Jan. 11, and post-hearing briefs and statements are due by Jan. 30. Written submissions concerning this investigation are due by Feb. 6. The ITC expects to transmit its final report to USTR by April 30.