Washington — Angola and the United States took steps to advance their trade relationship in discussions April 1 in Washington at the second meeting of the U.S.-Angola Council on Trade and Investment.
The United States hosted the meeting, which was summarized in a news release the same day from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). The council, known as the "TIFA Council," was established as a result of the trade and investment framework agreement (TIFA) between the two countries.
"Angola's great potential is recognized by the many international partners and investors who see Angola moving in the right direction," USTR said. Angola is a leading beneficiary of preferential access to the U.S. market under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), exporting mainly energy-related products and some forest products.
Discussions at the meeting focused on several common objectives, including the U.S.-Angola trade and investment relationship, small and medium-sized enterprises, utilization of AGOA, protection of intellectual property rights, agribusiness prospects and development, and improving bilateral investment opportunities. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Angolan Minister of Trade Rosa Escórcio Pacavira de Matos led the discussions.
"Angola is one of our most important partners in sub-Saharan Africa. American exports to Angola are a strong example of how the Obama administration is emphasizing trade as a key way to unlock economic opportunity, strengthen the middle class and benefit our partners abroad," said Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa Florie Liser. "We charted a path forward that will strengthen our economic engagement and create jobs for Americans and Angolans alike."
Total U.S.-Angola trade (exports plus imports) was valued at $10.2 billion in 2013. U.S. imports from Angola were valued at $8.7 billion. The five largest import categories were mineral fuel and oil (crude oil) ($8.7 billion), precious stones (diamonds) ($19 million), special other (returns) ($5 million), wood ($1 million) and rubber ($71,000).
U.S. exports to Angola were valued at $1.5 billion in 2013. The top export categories were machinery ($533 million), meat (poultry) ($249 million), iron and steel products ($133 million), electrical machinery ($104 million), and optic and medical instruments ($62 million).
The TIFA Council plays a key role in advancing the common trade and investment interests of the United States and Angola and in strengthening the overall U.S.-Angola relationship, USTR said. It promotes sound trade policies and works to attract investment to Angola and to advance sustainable and inclusive development. It also works to expand opportunities for workers, farmers, businesses and consumers in both countries.
The United States and Angola signed the TIFA in 2009, and the TIFA Council is a mechanism for regular, high-level dialogue. The previous TIFA Council meeting was held in Luanda, Angola, in June 2010.