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March 10, 1998
(House Rules)

H.R. 1432 - Africa Growth and Opportunity Act
(Crane (R) IL and 53 cosponsors)

The Administration strongly supports House passage of H.R. 1432, which would provide enhanced trade and investment benefits for sub-Saharan African countries. This bill complements the President?s "Partnership for Economic Growth and Opportunity in Africa" initiative and will help to promote broad economic reform and accelerated growth in Africa.

African countries are on the doorstep of a new era of democracy and prosperity. H.R. 1432 encourages them to undertake trade and other reform efforts in return for greater trade benefits. African countries have shown that when they implement successful and sustainable economic and political reform programs, they can experience the same strong growth rates seen elsewhere in the world.

The President observed last year, that as Africa?s nations join the global march toward freedom and open markets, the United States has a deep interest in helping to ensure that these efforts pay off. The United States must respond constructively to the changes in Africa. H.R. 1432 will encourage continued economic reform and development in Africa and increased U.S.-African trade.

The Administration commends the efforts of the Ways and Means Committee to increase measures to discourage transshipment. The Administration supports the bill?s requirement for cooperation from participating countries, and the inclusion of additional penalties against those caught engaging in illegal behavior.

The Administration will continue to work with Congress through the legislative process to ensure the strongest possible bipartisan support for the bill.

Pay-As-You-Go Scoring

H.R. 1432 would affect receipts; therefore, it is subject to the pay-as-you-go requirements of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990. The bill contains provisions that do not fully offset the five year reduction in receipts. The Administration supports this bill, and will work with Congress to find appropriate offsets.

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