By Victor Asije
Lagos – The U.S. Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs, Mr Tibor Nagy, on Wednesday said that President Trumps’ administration would focus on bilateral free trade agreements with African countries.
Nagy made the disclosure in a telephonic press conference with journalists from across Africa to announce the planned visit of the U.S. Deputy of State, Mr John Sullivan to Africa.
Sullivan would be visiting South Africa and Angola to discuss U.S. trade and investment, advancing peace and security, humanitarian crisis in Venezuela and engagement with youth and the civil society.
Nagy said that U.S. currently had only one free trade agreement with Morocco in Africa, while his government had none with any Sub-Saharan African countries.
“The United States of America supports the continent-wide free trade agreement. So we’re not trying to compete with that.
“But the administration very strongly supports bilateral free trade agreements for the United States of America, and right now, we are actively searching for a country to serve as a model.
“The United States of America right now has only one Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with an African country, and that is Morocco, so in effect, we have none with sub-Saharan Africa,’’ he said.
Nagy, who said that the post-African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) was fraught with uncertainty, disclosed that the U.S. was also already in extensive commercial ties with South Africa.
According to him, there are currently about 600 United States different companies providing employments for about 200,000 people in South Africa.
“South Africa is an essential commercial and trade partner in Africa,’’ he said.