The United States on Friday announced it’s considering a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
“A Trade and Investment Framework Agreement with the Economic Community of West African States can significantly contribute to economic growth and increased international competitiveness on both sides of the Atlantic,” said Acting U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis in a statement.
On March 28, President Obama met with four African leaders from the region at the White House.
If concluded, the TIFA would help support American jobs by creating opportunities for U.S. companies interested in doing business in West Africa, and would assist in addressing impediments to U.S. trade and investment in the region. It would also provide a forum for discussion of topics relevant to economic integration efforts in West Africa, USTR said.
The proposed U.S.-ECOWAS TIFA would build on the U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa, which was started in June 2012. The strategy calls for more enhanced trade and investment between the United States and sub-Saharan Africa and recognizes trade and investment as a critical engine for broad economic growth.
The United States already has TIFAs with four African regional economic organizations, including the East African Community (EAC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU/UEMOA), and Southern African Customs Union (SACU). The United States also has eight bilateral TIFA partners in sub-Saharan Africa, covering the countries of Angola, Ghana, Liberia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, and South Africa.