The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 29, 2006

Statement on the African Growth and Opportunity Act

African Growth and Opportunity Act

The Bush Administration is committed to reducing barriers to trade and investment as a means to advance hope, opportunity, and prosperity in both developed and developing countries. In this regard, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is the cornerstone of the Administration's policy to encourage trade and investment in sub-Saharan Africa.

On December 20, President Bush signed legislation extending certain key provisions of the African Growth and Opportunity Act. The new provisions of the Africa Investment Incentive Act of 2006, including extension of AGOA's third country fabric provisions, underscore continuing U.S. support for boosting African growth and development through trade and investment.

On December 29, President Bush approved the designation of one new country - Liberia - as an AGOA beneficiary country - following the Government of Liberia's successful efforts to meet a number of benchmarks established during the last review. Liberia will join 37 other sub-Saharan African countries as eligible for tariff preferences under AGOA.

As the AGOA legislation requires, this annual determination allows for the provision of trade benefits to those sub-Saharan African countries that are making continual progress toward a market-based economy, the rule of law, free trade, economic policies that will reduce poverty, and protection of workers' rights. By providing these countries greater access to American markets, AGOA can continue to spur more trade and investment between the United States and Africa, and enhance a partnership that is mutually beneficial for American and African businesses and people.

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