Pennsylvania Business Report: Roundtable discusses African trade policy

U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA) recently hosted a virtual roundtable to discuss the effects of African trade policy on the Philadelphia region, how to increase trade between Philadelphia and Africa, and why Philadelphia-Africa business linkages are important.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Philadelphia area business leaders, Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ), and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade, participated in the roundtable.

Evans serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, the committee that oversees trade issues.

The African market is sometimes overlooked, Evans said, but has great potential to create and retain jobs in the Philadelphia region. Trade agreements or agreement modifications are often years in the making, so input is vital in the early stages, he said.

“I thank Congressman Evans for hosting this important event. President Trump is deeply committed to expanding America’s trade relationship with Africa,” Lighthizer said. “Under his leadership, the United States is negotiating a free trade agreement with Kenya, which would be America’s first trade agreement with a sub-Saharan African nation. Our vision is to conclude a comprehensive, high-standard agreement with Kenya that will serve as a model for additional agreements with other African countries, expanding U.S.-Africa trade and investment across a continent that will account for nearly a fifth of the world’s consumers by the year 2030.”