The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 15, 2003

Fact Sheet: U.S. - Sub-Saharan Africa Trade Forum

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"America is committed to building on the great success of AGOA. One important way we can do this is to give business the confidence to invest in Africa, knowing the law's benefits will continue long into the future. Therefore, I am pleased to announce that I will ask the United States Congress to extend AGOA beyond 2008."

President George W. Bush
January 15, 2003

President Bush addressed, via video, the delegates of the second U.S. - Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Forum (AGOA Forum), and pledged his Administration's commitment to work with the United States Congress to extend the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), scheduled to expire in 2008.

In May 2000, the United States Congress passed AGOA with strong bipartisan support, and the legislation mandated an annual Forum that would discuss ways to enhance the U.S. - Sub-Saharan African trade and economic relationship. Last fall, the Secretaries of State, Treasury, and Commerce, and the United States Trade Representative issued invitations to their ministerial counterparts from 36 eligible Sub-Saharan African countries to attend the Forum on January 15-17, 2003. This year, the AGOA Forum is being held in Mauritius, marking the first AGOA Forum in Africa. The business and NGO communities are holding meetings with their African counterparts in conjunction with the AGOA Forum.

The focus of the Forum is to discuss further measures that the U.S. and Sub-Saharan African nations can jointly take to stimulate economic growth and trade, enhance democracy and good governance, and combat HIV/AIDS -- all key ingredients in a strong poverty alleviation program for Africa.

Members of Congress and Congressional staff, led by Chairman Bill Thomas, House Ways and Means Committee, will be represented in the plenary sessions and will tour local factories to see the successes of AGOA.

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