US Deputy Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis on Thursday concluded a four-day official visit here, affirming his country’s eagerness to strengthen trade and investment ties with Tanzania.
Marantis headed a US trade delegation that discussed with Tanzanian government officials efforts to increase bilateral trade as well as enhanced trade and investment between the East African Community (EAC) member states and the United States.
According to government officials here, a number of bilateral initiatives to spur Tanzania’s economic growth through trade and investment were discussed during the visit when Marantis and the delegation met with Vice President Mohamed Gharib Bilal and officials in the East African Cooperation ministry as well as the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Members of the delegation included USAID Principal Advisor to the Assistant Administrator for Africa, Oren Whyche-Shaw, Assistant US Trade Representative for Africa Florizelle Liser, Department of Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary for Market Access and Compliance Holly Vineyard, Director for African Affairs for the US Trade Representative Erland Herfindahl, and Department of Commerce International Trade Specialist Kate Innelli.
US Ambassador to Tanzania and to the EAC Alfonso E. Lenhardt said that Marantis’ visit underscored the remark by US Trade Representative Ron Kirk during his June 2011 visit to Tanzania that the United States “believes an enhanced economic partnership with regional partners in the EAC will be beneficial to Tanzanians, East Africans, and Americans.”
Lenhardt also urged Tanzania to make every effort to take full advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) significant duty and quota-free market access for apparel and thousands of other products, noting the recent extension of the third country fabric provision of the Act.
Marantis discussed the US-EAC Trade and Investment Partnership, which seeks to support regional integration efforts within the EAC as well as enhance US-EAC two-way trade and investment.
This new partnership, an official of the US Embassy here said, would pursue a regional investment treaty, a trade facilitation agreement, provide targeted trade capacity building, and launch a Commercial Dialogue between the US and EAC private sectors.