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Trade Investment And Development Cooperative Agreement

As with other development cooperation agreements, decentralized cooperation is a key element of support, requiring significant civil society participation in the development process. Let me say a few words about the meaning of these two agreements before we sign them. As many here may know, the highest economic commitment of the United States with our trading partners is a free trade agreement or a free trade agreement. We have looked at the possibility of a free trade area with some African partners, but at this stage most countries in the region are not yet in a position to make the kind of commitments that would be necessary to conclude a comprehensive free trade agreement with the United States. The agreements we sign today will open new chapters in our relationship with SACU and ABC. These two organizations have a lot in common, but they are also separate and different. We will therefore honour each individual, starting with the South African customs union. The five SACU countries combined are the largest non-oil trading partner of the United States in sub-Saharan Africa, with two-way trade of $18.2 billion in 2008. I would like to greet all the many senior officials and friends of Africa who are with us today – including my trade colleagues, African ambassadors, officials from the Southern African Customs Union and the East African Community, colleagues from the US government and representatives of the private sector and civil society. After nearly three years of slow and stagnant negotiations, representatives of U.S. trade representatives and SACU cancelled free trade negotiations in April 2006 for a longer-term trade and investment plan. On 16 July 2008, they signed an agreement on trade, investment and development cooperation (TIDCA), the first of its kind. TIDCA would be a formal mechanism for the United States and SACU to negotiate trade agreements that could serve as a cornerstone for a future free trade agreement.

The agreement will also allow both sides to work on key trade issues, such as trade facilitation, technical barriers, investment promotion, and health and plant health standards12 Negotiations to launch a free trade agreement between the United States and the five members of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) (Botswana, , Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland) began on 3 June. , 2003. In April 2006, negotiators suspended the Free Trade Agreement negotiations and launched a new work programme to strengthen trade and investment relations with a free trade agreement as a long-term goal. A possible free trade agreement would eliminate tariffs over time, reduce or eliminate non-tariff barriers, liberalize trade in services, protect intellectual property rights and provide technical assistance to help SACU countries achieve the objectives of the agreement. This potential agreement would be subject to congressional approval. This report will be updated during the negotiations. A related tariff is a rate that a country does not wish to exceed because of trade commitments in the WTO. A tariff applied is a rate that is actually applied to goods.

SACU is the Second largest trading partner of the United States in Africa, after Nigeria, whose exports are almost exclusively petroleum products. In total, SACU is the 33rd largest trading partner of the United States. Imports from SACU amounted to $10.0 billion in 2007, an increase of 33% over 2005 and an increase of 169% over 19974.