Washington — The United States March 11 hosted the eighth meeting of the U.S.-Nigeria Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council, advancing the two countries' trade and investment interests and strengthening their overall relationship.
Discussions focused on several common objectives, including improving market access, utilizing the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), protecting intellectual property rights, implementing the new World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement and improving the bilateral investment climate, according to a news release the same day from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).
Discussions were led for the United States by U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and for Nigeria by Nigerian Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Olusegun O. Aganga.
"Nigeria and the United States have a long history of productive and mutually beneficial trade and investment ties," according to the USTR release. "As the largest market in West Africa and one of the largest economies in Africa, Nigeria plays a central role in the regional economy."
Total U.S.-Nigeria trade (exports plus imports) was valued at $18.2 billion in 2013, USTR said. U.S. imports from Nigeria were valued at $11.7 billion, $11.6 billion of which was crude oil. Non-oil Nigerian exports to the United States under AGOA include leather, prepared vegetables, beans, cocoa paste, spices and cassava.
U.S. exports to Nigeria were valued at $6.5 billion in 2013. Major U.S. exports to Nigeria, USTR said, include mineral fuels, vehicles, wheat, machinery and plastics. U.S. foreign direct investment in Nigeria totaled $8.1 billion in 2012 (the latest data available), up 53.6 percent from 2011.
The TIFA Council "is a critical part of comprehensive U.S. engagement with the Nigerian Government to promote sound trade policies, attract investment to Nigeria, and advance sustainable and inclusive development," USTR said. The TIFA Council is working to enhance U.S.-Nigeria cooperation in order to expand opportunities for workers, farmers, businesses and consumers in both countries, it said.
The United States and Nigeria signed the TIFA in 2000. The TIFA Council serves as a mechanism for regular, high-level dialogue on enhancing U.S.-Nigeria trade and investment ties and improving coordination between the United States and Nigeria on multilateral and bilateral trade and investment issues. The previous TIFA Council meeting was held in Abuja, Nigeria, in December 2012.