Figure of a week: Africa's new trade partners

This week, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson creates his initial central revisit to Africa, assembly with leaders in Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Nigeria. According to State Department officials, Tillerson will be looking for ways to improved position a U.S. to some-more effectively support mercantile expansion opposite a continent.

Economic expansion and trade are critical tools of a United States attribute with sub-Saharan Africa by programs such as African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). However, as Africa Growth Initiative Director Brahima S. Coulibaly pronounced in a media lecture on a outing on Mar 5, a U.S. “risks descending behind” rising marketplace economies—especially China—when it comes to trade expansion in sub-Saharan Africa.

Also in a briefing, Brookings Nonresident Fellow Witney Schneidman emphasized, “The European Union has been really active in formulating giveaway trade agreements to their mercantile partnership agreements. China, of course, has been really assertive in creation blurb loans available, and a U.S. is arrange of still traffic with this position of a non-reciprocal trade agreement. So we consider a time is now for some-more artistic meditative in a series of areas.” For right now, Schneidman added, it seems that Tillerson’s outing has “no clear deliverables, and there’s no initiatives that are going to be announced.”

Indeed, over a final decade, trade between a United States and sub-Saharan African countries has stagnated or declined as seen in Figure 1. Exports from sub-Saharan Africa to a U.S. fell by 66 percent between 2006 and 2016 while imports grew by usually 7 percent, even as altogether imports rose by 56 percent.

Figure 1: Global trade with sub-Saharan Africa


On a other hand, trade with several rising economies grew significantly during that time duration with imports from China, India, Indonesia, Russia, and Turkey all doubling between 2006 and 2016. Similarly, exports to India, Indonesia, and Russia doubled during a duration as well.

Though aged partners still sojourn strong. For example, a European Union stays a region’s largest trade partner, accounting for 25.5 percent of imports and 23.2 percent of exports. Even as trade with other rising economies has increased, a United States, European Union, and China sojourn critical trade partners, accounting for roughly 50 percent of all exports from sub-Saharan Africa.

To learn some-more about options for AGOA and a destiny of U.S.-Africa trade, see Post-AGOA: Moving to a reciprocal US-Africa trade agreement.

On Thursday, Jan 11, a Africa Growth Initiative during Brookings launched a annual Foresight Africa report, highlighting pivotal priorities for a segment for 2018. Chapter 6 of a report, Reassessing Africa’s Global Partnerships: Approaches for enchanting a new universe order highlights how a segment is enchanting with a United States, European Union, and China. This post focuses on a changing trade patterns in sub-Saharan Africa and a arise of new trade partners such as India, Turkey, and Russia.

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