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 Home > News & Policies > July 2003

For Immediate Release
July 11, 2003

Global Messenger


President Bush called upon Congress to extend the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). It is the cornerstone of the Administration's trade and investment policy toward sub-Saharan Africa and an extension beyond 2008 will give confidence to businesses to make long-term investments in Africa. AGOA:

  • Promotes free markets
  • Expands U.S.-African trade and investment
  • Stimulates economic growth
  • Facilitates sub-Saharan Africa's integration into the global economy

Building on the success of AGOA, the President has proposed a free trade agreement with the five member countries of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU). The countries include:

  • Botswana
  • Lesotho
  • Namibia
  • South Africa
  • Swaziland

The proposed free trade agreement is in keeping with AGOA. A free trade agreement with SACU countries will benefit U.S. businesses, workers and consumers by providing preferential access to our largest export market in sub-Saharan Africa. The United States exports to SACU countries were worth more than $3.1 billion in 2001. A free trade agreement will also help address longstanding regulatory barriers in the region and to level the playing field in areas where U.S. exporters were disadvantaged by the European Union's free trade agreement with South Africa. A free trade agreement would give SACU member countries guaranteed market access to the world's largest economy.