| 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] ...
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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