On March 18, President George W. Bush spoke at the Jacksonville Port Authority in Jacksonville, Florida. The president noted that the United States is the world’s leading exporter of goods and services and now has 14 trade agreements in place, with more pending. He also stressed the urgency of a vote on the Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement and its importance for U.S. small and medium-sized companies. To read the speech, visit www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2008/03/20080318-4.html.
Following President Bush’s remarks on the Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement on March 18, Under Secretary for International Trade Christopher Padilla briefed reporters at the White House about the benefits of the agreement. The agreement levels the playing field for American businesses, farmers and workers whose products currently face high tariffs entering the Colombian market, while most Colombian exports to the United States face no duties at all. The agreement also strengthens our country’s relationship with a key ally in Latin America.
On March 4, the Bush administration delivered two important trade-related documents to Congress: the 2008 Trade Policy Agenda and the 2007 Annual Report of the President of the United States on the Trade Agreements Program. The report highlights the administration’s 2007 accomplishments of opening new markets, developing and implementing new policies, and enforcing U.S. trade agreements to ensure trade is free and fair.
“President Bush’s accomplishments of opening markets at every opportunity have advanced the pro-growth benefits of free and fair trade,” said U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab. “Through negotiations for reciprocal access bilaterally, regionally and multilaterally—and tough enforcement to ensure that our trading partners must keep their promises of open markets—the past seven years have reaped record exports, job creation, growth and productivity.”
March’s Market of the Month is sub-Saharan Africa, featuring Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa. Sub-Saharan Africa, with its burgeoning consumer base of 650 million, political stability and economic reforms, has market potential that is growing. U.S. exports increased by 30% from 2006 to 2007, driven mainly by increases in parts for oil field equipment, vehicles and parts, aircraft, wheat, platforms for offshore oil drilling, non-crude oil and medical equipment. As the markets in sub-Saharan Africa continue to show substantial growth and potential, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa stand out as particularly advantageous destinations for U.S. exporters seeking to leverage business opportunities in this exciting region.
To read more about this market, its opportunities and its challenges, and to learn about best prospects, please visit export.gov/articles/Africa_MOM.asp.
April’s Market of the Month is Australia. Despite a population of 21 million, Australia ranks as the 15th-largest market for U.S. merchandise exports, creating an annual trade surplus of $10 billion for the United States. Australia has one of the world’s best financial, legal and political systems; a world-class infrastructure; advanced communications networks; modern land, sea and air connections; and strong intellectual property protection. It also has a high per capita income, an advanced industrial base and a 16-year growth record—all of which generate substantial purchasing power. The recent Australia–U.S. Free Trade Agreement, coupled with the strength of the Australian currency, has created unlimited opportunities in this resilient economy. Australia has few barriers to entry, a familiar legal and corporate framework, sophisticated consumer and industrial demand, and a straightforward, English-speaking, business culture. Best prospect sectors include tourism, oil and gas, renewable energy, environmental technologies and medical device sectors.
To read more about this market, its opportunities and its challenges, and to learn more about best prospects, please visit export.gov/articles/mom_australia.asp.