18th Agoa Forum “The evolution of trade between Africa and the United States remains well below potential” (Souleymane Diarrassouba)
Launched in 2000 under the Chairmanship of Bill Clinton, Agoa “has not changed the game for many African countries, as we have hoped,” said the US Deputy Foreign Trade Representative for Africa , Constance Hamilton, on the sidelines of the 18th Forum of Agoa held in Abidjan on August 5th and 6th. Despite the absence of customs duties on 6,500 products (oil, agricultural, textile, handicrafts …), trade is declining: after having quadrupled from 2002 to 2008, when they reached 100 billion dollars (90 billion euros), they have plunged back up to 39 billion dollars in 2017, according to the figures of the US development agency USAID. While during the same period, the volume of trade between China and Africa rose regularly to reach 170 billion dollars in 2017. “We must identify ways to strengthen the business opportunities offered by Agoa” to “take full advantage of access to the US market,” urged Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara, who wants to triple his country’s exports to the United States. United States ($ 1 to $ 3.5 billion) by 2025, when this program will end.