Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 434 (rh) To authorize a new trade and investment policy for sub-Sahara Africa. [Reported in House] ...

H.R. 434 (rh) To authorize a new trade and investment policy for sub-Sahara Africa. [Reported in House] ...


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                                                       Calendar No. 215

106th CONGRESS

  1st Session

                               H. R. 434

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT

 To authorize a new trade and investment policy for sub-Sahara Africa.

_______________________________________________________________________

                             July 19, 1999

            Received; read twice and placed in the calendar
                                                       Calendar No. 215
106th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 434


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             July 19, 1999

            Received; read twice and placed on the calendar

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
 To authorize a new trade and investment policy for sub-Sahara Africa.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``African Growth and Opportunity 
Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    The Congress finds that it is in the mutual economic interest of 
the United States and sub-Saharan Africa to promote stable and 
sustainable economic growth and development in sub-Saharan Africa and 
that sustained economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa depends in large 
measure upon the development of a receptive environment for trade and 
investment. To that end, the United States seeks to facilitate market-
led economic growth in, and thereby the social and economic development 
of, the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. In particular, the United 
States seeks to assist sub-Saharan African countries, and the private 
sector in those countries, to achieve economic self-reliance by--
            (1) strengthening and expanding the private sector in sub-
        Saharan Africa, especially women-owned businesses;
            (2) encouraging increased trade and investment between the 
        United States and sub-Saharan Africa;
            (3) reducing tariff and nontariff barriers and other trade 
        obstacles;
            (4) expanding United States assistance to sub-Saharan 
        Africa's regional integration efforts;
            (5) negotiating free trade areas;
            (6) establishing a United States-Sub-Saharan Africa Trade 
        and Investment Partnership;
            (7) focusing on countries committed to accountable 
        government, economic reform, and the eradication of poverty;
            (8) establishing a United States-Sub-Saharan Africa 
        Economic Cooperation Forum;
            (9) continuing to support development assistance for those 
        countries in sub-Saharan Africa attempting to build civil 
        societies; and
            (10) encouraging the establishment and development of small 
        businesses in sub-Saharan Africa and encouraging trade between 
        United States small businesses and these newly-established 
        small businesses in sub-Saharan Africa.

SEC. 3. STATEMENT OF POLICY.

    The Congress supports economic self-reliance for sub-Saharan 
African countries, particularly those committed to--
            (1) economic and political reform;
            (2) market incentives and private sector growth;
            (3) the eradication of poverty; and
            (4) the importance of women to economic growth and 
        development.

SEC. 4. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS.

    (a) In General.--A sub-Saharan African country shall be eligible to 
participate in programs, projects, or activities, or receive assistance 
or other benefits under this Act if the President determines that the 
country does not engage in gross violations of internationally 
recognized human rights and has established, or is making continual 
progress toward establishing, a market-based economy, such as the 
establishment and enforcement of appropriate policies relating to--
            (1) promoting free movement of goods and services between 
        the United States and sub-Saharan Africa and among countries in 
        sub-Saharan Africa;
            (2) promoting the expansion of the production base and the 
        transformation of commodities and nontraditional products for 
        exports through joint venture projects between African and 
        foreign investors;
            (3) trade issues, such as protection of intellectual 
        property rights, improvements in standards, testing, labeling 
        and certification, and government procurement;
            (4) the protection of property rights, such as protection 
        against expropriation and a functioning and fair judicial 
        system;
            (5) the protection of internationally recognized worker 
        rights, including the right of association, the right to 
        organize and bargain collectively, a prohibition on the use of 
        any form of forced or compulsory labor, a minimum age for the 
        employment of children, and acceptable conditions of work with 
        respect to minimum wages, hours of work, and occupational 
        safety and health;
            (6) appropriate fiscal systems, such as reducing high 
        import and corporate taxes, controlling government consumption, 
        participation in bilateral investment treaties, and the 
        harmonization of such treaties to avoid double taxation;
            (7) foreign investment issues, such as the provision of 
        national treatment for foreign investors, removing restrictions 
        on investment, and other measures to create an environment 
        conducive to domestic and foreign investment;
            (8) supporting the growth of regional markets within a free 
        trade area framework;
            (9) governance issues, such as eliminating government 
        corruption, minimizing government intervention in the market 
        such as price controls and subsidies, and streamlining the 
        business license process;
            (10) supporting the growth of the private sector, in 
        particular by promoting the emergence of a new generation of 
        African entrepreneurs;
            (11) encouraging the private ownership of government-
        controlled economic enterprises through divestiture programs; 
        and
            (12) observing the rule of law, including equal protection 
        under the law and the right to due process and a fair trial.
    (b) Additional Factors.--In determining whether a sub-Saharan 
African country is eligible under subsection (a), the President shall 
take into account the following factors:
            (1) An expression by such country of its desire to be an 
        eligible country under subsection (a).
            (2) The extent to which such country has made substantial 
        progress toward--
                    (A) reducing tariff levels;
                    (B) binding its tariffs in the World Trade 
                Organization and assuming meaningful binding 
                obligations in other sectors of trade; and
                    (C) eliminating nontariff barriers to trade.
            (3) Whether such country, if not already a member of the 
        World Trade Organization, is actively pursuing membership in 
        that Organization.
            (4) The extent to which such country has a recognizable 
        commitment to reducing poverty, increasing the availability of 
        health care and educational opportunities, the expansion of 
        physical infrastructure in a manner designed to maximize 
        accessibility, increased access to market and credit facilities 
        for small farmers and producers, and improved economic 
        opportunities for women as entrepreneurs and employees, and 
        promoting and enabling the formation of capital to support the 
        establishment and operation of micro-enterprises.
            (5) Whether or not such country engages in activities that 
        undermine United States national security or foreign policy 
        interests.
    (c) Continuing Compliance.--
            (1) Monitoring and review of certain countries.--The 
        President shall monitor and review the progress of sub-Saharan 
        African countries in order to determine their current or 
        potential eligibility under subsection (a). Such determinations 
        shall be based on quantitative factors to the fullest extent 
        possible and shall be included in the annual report required by 
        section 15.
            (2) Ineligibility of certain countries.--A sub-Saharan 
        African country described in paragraph (1) that has not made 
        continual progress in meeting the requirements with which it is 
        not in compliance shall be ineligible to participate in 
        programs, projects, or activities, or receive assistance or 
        other benefits, under this Act.

SEC. 5. UNITED STATES-SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA TRADE AND ECONOMIC COOPERATION 
              FORUM.

    (a) Declaration of Policy.--The President shall convene annual 
high-level meetings between appropriate officials of the United States 
Government and officials of the governments of sub-Saharan African 
countries in order to foster close economic ties between the United 
States and sub-Saharan Africa.
    (b) Establishment.--Not later than 12 months after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the President, after consulting with Congress 
and the governments concerned, shall establish a United States-Sub-
Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum (hereafter in this 
section referred to as the ``Forum'').
    (c) Requirements.--In creating the Forum, the President shall meet 
the following requirements:
            (1) The President shall direct the Secretary of Commerce, 
        the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of State, and the 
        United States Trade Representative to host the first annual 
        meeting with the counterparts of such Secretaries from the 
        governments of sub-Saharan African countries eligible under 
        section 4, the Secretary General of the Organization of African 
        Unity, and government officials from other appropriate 
        countries in Africa, to discuss expanding trade and investment 
        relations between the United States and sub-Saharan Africa and 
        the implementation of this Act including encouraging joint 
        ventures between small and large businesses.
            (2)(A) The President, in consultation with the Congress, 
        shall encourage United States nongovernmental organizations to 
        host annual meetings with nongovernmental organizations from 
        sub-Saharan Africa in conjunction with the annual meetings of 
        the Forum for the purpose of discussing the issues described in 
        paragraph (1).
            (B) The President, in consultation with the Congress, shall 
        encourage United States representatives of the private sector 
        to host annual meetings with representatives of the private 
        sector from sub-Saharan Africa in conjunction with the annual 
        meetings of the Forum for the purpose of discussing the issues 
        described in paragraph (1).
            (3) The President shall, to the extent practicable, meet 
        with the heads of governments of sub-Saharan African countries 
        eligible under section 4 not less than once every 2 years for 
        the purpose of discussing the issues described in paragraph 
        (1). The first such meeting should take place not later than 
        twelve months after the date of the enactment of this Act.
    (d) Dissemination of Information by USIA.--In order to assist in 
carrying out the purposes of the Forum, the United States Information 
Agency shall disseminate regularly, through multiple media, economic 
information in support of the free market economic reforms described in 
this Act.
    (e) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be 
appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section.
    (f) Limitation on Use of Funds.--None of the funds authorized under 
this section may be used to create or support any nongovernmental 
organization for the purpose of expanding or facilitating trade between 
the United States and sub-Saharan Africa.

SEC. 6. UNITED STATES-SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA FREE TRADE AREA.

    (a) Declaration of Policy.--The Congress declares that a United 
States-Sub-Saharan Africa Free Trade Area should be established, or 
free trade agreements should be entered into, in order to serve as the 
catalyst for increasing trade between the United States and sub-Saharan 
Africa and increasing private sector development in sub-Saharan Africa.
    (b) Plan Requirement.--
            (1) In general.--The President, taking into account the 
        provisions of the treaty establishing the African Economic 
        Community and the willingness of the governments of sub-Saharan 
        African countries to engage in negotiations to enter into free 
        trade agreements, shall develop a plan for the purpose of 
        entering into one or more trade agreements with sub-Saharan 
        African countries eligible under section 4 in order to 
        establish a United States-Sub-Saharan Africa Free Trade Area 
        (hereafter in this section referred to as the ``Free Trade 
        Area'').
            (2) Elements of plan.--The plan shall include the 
        following:
                    (A) The specific objectives of the United States 
                with respect to the establishment of the Free Trade 
                Area and a suggested timetable for achieving those 
                objectives.
                    (B) The benefits to both the United States and sub-
                Saharan Africa with respect to the Free Trade Area.
                    (C) A mutually agreed-upon timetable for 
                establishing the Free Trade Area.
                    (D) The implications for and the role of regional 
                and sub-regional organizations in sub-Saharan Africa 
                with respect to the Free Trade Area.
                    (E) Subject matter anticipated to be covered by the 
                agreement for establishing the Free Trade Area and 
                United States laws, programs, and policies, as well as 
                the laws of participating eligible African countries 
                and existing bilateral and multilateral and economic 
                cooperation and trade agreements, that may be affected 
                by the agreement or agreements.
                    (F) Procedures to ensure the following:
                            (i) Adequate consultation with the Congress 
                        and the private sector during the negotiation 
                        of the agreement or agreements for establishing 
                        the Free Trade Area.
                            (ii) Consultation with the Congress 
                        regarding all matters relating to 
                        implementation of the agreement or agreements.
                            (iii) Approval by the Congress of the 
                        agreement or agreements.
                            (iv) Adequate consultations with the 
                        relevant African governments and African 
                        regional and subregional intergovernmental 
                        organizations during the negotiations of the 
                        agreement or agreements.
    (c) Reporting Requirement.--Not later than 12 months after the date 
of the enactment of this Act, the President shall prepare and transmit 

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