Durbin, Shaheen, Boozman, Coons, Cassidy Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Increase U.S. Exports To Africa
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), John Boozman (R-AR), Chris Coons (D-DE), and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) today introduced bipartisan legislation to improve America’s competiveness throughout the African continent and in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Increasing American Jobs through Greater Exports to Africa Act will force better coordination between U.S. government agencies and departments, establish comprehensive strategic goals, and marshal private investments to improve U.S. exports to Africa. The legislation also focuses on Latin America and the Caribbean, and will help create American jobs by requiring a whole of government strategy to increase the number of U.S. exports to Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean by at least 200 percent in real dollar value within ten years of enactment of the law.
“Despite the strong demand for American products and services, others such as China have been busy building markets on the African continent and with our neighbors in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the U.S. is being left behind,” Durbin said. “Our bipartisan bill helps American businesses create jobs at home, and ensures America continues to be seen as a leader in rapidly growing and dynamic parts of the world.”
“Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean are important trading partners for the U.S. – not just to advance mutually strategic relationships, but also to ensure we remain competitive in growing markets against global adversaries like China. We need a comprehensive approach to solidify U.S. economic leadership and ensure an alternative to China’s manipulative trade practices for our neighbors abroad,” said Shaheen. “This bill will do just that while creating jobs for American workers and securing America’s presence on the global stage.”
“Strengthening trade relationships with our allies is more important than ever as China continues to expand its disingenuous influence internationally. Fostering an effective trade strategy with African and Latin American nations creates more jobs in the U.S. while maintaining and growing our partnerships in key regions. This bill represents a comprehensive approach to increasing the flow of American products and ideals in addition to countering the Chinese Communist Party’s ambitions,” Boozman said.
“We need a stronger strategy for increasing U.S. exports to rapidly growing markets that will advance our leadership and create growth opportunities for U.S. businesses. By facilitating exports of U.S. goods and services to emerging markets, the Increasing American Jobs through Greater Exports to Africa Act will bring us closer to these important regions and ensure that United States businesses can better compete with China in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean,” said Coons. “I’m proud to join my colleagues in reintroducing this legislation that will support our own jobs and industries while also strengthening developing economies.”
The tools available to the United States to compete competitively in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean are scattered, difficult for businesses to access, and not effectively coordinated. The Senators’ bipartisan legislation will harmonize the U.S. government’s focus on increasing exports to Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean by making the following improvements:
- Develop a comprehensive strategy to create American jobs by increasing U.S. goods and services exports to Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean by at least 200 percent in real dollar value over the next ten years;
- Create a Special White House Africa Strategy coordinators to ensure government agencies work in tandem and maximize resources to help U.S. companies expand into African, Latin American, and Caribbean markets;
- Encourage greater attention and coordination to African, Latin American, and Caribbean commercial markets by appropriate U.S. government agencies; and,
- Standardize training received by U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service officers and Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development economic officers on key programs and procedures agencies such as the United States International Development Finance Corporation, the Small Business Administration, and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.
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