For Immediate Release
July 14, 2004
From remarks by President Bush at the signing of the AGOA Acceleration Act of 2004, 7/13/04
President Bush on Tuesday signed the African Growth and Opportunity Acceleration Act of 2004.
In just four years, the AGOA has shown the power of free markets to improve the lives of people in both the United States and Africa.
By reducing barriers to trade, this law has increased export, created jobs, and expanded opportunity for Africans and Americans alike.
There is a growing consensus in both Africa and the United States that open trade and international investment are the surest and fastest ways for Africa to make progress.
For too many years, the world's efforts to promote Africa's development were focused on aid. Development aid is important and the Bush Administration has substantially increased aid to Africa. But by itself, aid can't transform societies. Only trade can foster the sustained economic growth necessary for that to happen.
When nations respect their people, open their markets, and expand freedom and opportunity to all their citizens, entire societies can be lifted out of poverty and despair.
As America works for open markets and opportunity on the African continent, we will also confront disease and hunger and the violence that undermines progress and hope.
Since its enactment in 2000, AGOA has generated over $340 million in investment and created thousands of jobs. The enactment of the legislation signed Tuesday will help ensure that the mutually beneficial trade continues.