Joint Statement on U.S.-East Africa Trade and Investment Talks

October 20, 2012

The United States government, represented by the United States Trade Representative, and the East African Community (EAC) on October 19 issued the statement below outlining further progress under the U.S.-EAC Trade and Investment Partnership.

The statement follows an October 19 ministerial meeting, in Nairobi, Kenya, attended by ministers from the EAC partner states, the deputy United States trade representative, the representative of the EAC secretary-general, senior officials from the EAC partner states, and senior U.S. government officials from a number of U.S. government agencies, including the departments of State, Commerce, and Transportation, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Today, 19th October 2012, the East African Community and the United States have taken important steps to advance the U.S.-EAC Trade and Investment Partnership – a new initiative that supports the economic integration of the EAC and enhances the U.S.-EAC trade and investment relationship. This new Partnership is built on the recognition of the important role that trade and investment play in economic and social development including job creation, both in East Africa and the United States.

The EAC and the United States agreed on a framework to move forward on the establishment of a Commercial Dialogue, which will be formally launched in late November 2012.

The EAC and the United States also agreed that their respective technical teams will meet at the soonest possible date for further consultations toward negotiation of a proposed investment treaty and a trade facilitation agreement. The technical teams will further discuss and agree on the trade capacity building assistance, including identification and agreement of priority areas to support the Trade and Investment Partnership. The EAC acknowledged that the United States already provides substantial assistance to the EAC Partner States and the Secretariat, including an additional amount of up to $10 million (ten million United States Dollars) that the United States will provide over the next five years to the EAC Secretariat to support regional economic integration.

As the next step, the EAC Ministers responsible for Trade and Investment, and the U.S. Trade Representative agreed to advance the U.S.-EAC Trade and Investment Partnership within their respective administrations. They also agreed to hold their next Ministerial meeting on the margins of the 2013 AGOA Forum.