WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Dave Reichert (R-WA) issued the following statements as the United States and Togo co-host the 2017 African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum this week to further strengthen important economic ties between the United States and Africa.
Reinforcing his support for AGOA, Chairman Brady said:
“The bipartisan 10-year renewal and enhancement of AGOA was the longest extension, ever, of the program. The strong bipartisan commitment to Africa has been clear every time the Congress has legislated on AGOA since 2000. I am very proud to have been part of this effort going back to my time as Ranking Member and then Chairman of the Trade Subcommittee.
“I know that government officials, the private sector, and civil society in our AGOA partners have been working hard to make the most of the stability that this renewal provides. I urge everyone involved to enhance those efforts to make the most of the next eight years, and I pledge to continue to partner with you. I will work with the Administration to continue to apply the eligibility criteria and procedures established by Congress in AGOA because they make Africa a more attractive place to do business.
“I believe that our partnership through AGOA has done much to deepen our relationship and increase economic opportunity in Africa, and I know that with strong partnership, we can build on this success and accomplish much more.”
Chairman Reichert added:
“I have long been a vocal supporter of AGOA and was happy that so many of my colleagues in the U.S. Congress joined me in a strong bipartisan vote for its renewal two years ago.
“I am pleased that the location of this year’s Forum in Togo provides an opportunity to highlight the success of companies like Alaffia, which was founded by entrepreneurs from both Togo and my home state of Washington and continues to operate in both locations. Alaffia is making the most of the opportunities created by AGOA to build its lines of beauty and health products, creating good jobs and opportunities in both Togo and the United States.
“Alaffia is just one of many AGOA success stories.
“As we strengthen our relationship with the nations of sub-Saharan Africa, I see the AGOA eligibility criteria as an important catalyst, providing Africa with the tools to leap forward in building its economies, raising standards, and developing strong democracies. I look forward to working together to make the most of the remaining eight years of the AGOA authorization.”