Statement on House passage of African Growth and Opportunity Act
Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-Calif.), Ranking Member of the Africa Subcommittee, issued the following statement after the House passed H.R. 1295, the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, which would extend the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA):
“Today, the House of Representatives demonstrated the very best of bipartisanship by voting for a 10-year extension of the African Growth and Opportunity Act. I look forward to the Senate quickly taking up this legislation so President Obama can sign it.
“The vote today was the result of years of work from the African Diplomatic Corps, African heads of state, members of African governments, and countless African Diaspora who organized and spoke with a powerful voice that AGOA needed to be reauthorized. I want to thank them for attending the many ‘Africa Policy Breakfasts’ that I hosted where Africans discussed not only AGOA’s importance, but also how we can work with African nations as America’s partner.
“Because of the work of Democrats and Republicans in the House and the Senate as well as the Obama Administration, we will now have a seamless, long-term renewal of AGOA that will strengthen the environment for trade and investment between the United States and the nations of Africa and benefit Americans and Africans alike.
“I look forward to continuing to work with my fellow members of Congress and the Obama Administration in strengthening trade and investment relations between our country and the continent that is home to many of the world’s fastest growing economies as well as the world’s most dynamic trade and investment frontier — Africa.”
Since its enactment in 2001, AGOA has helped to significantly increase African exports to the United States and led to jobs both on the African continent and in the United States. According to a 2013 study by the African diplomatic core, AGOA has generated approximately 100,000 jobs in the United States and 350,000 direct jobs and 1,000,000 indirect jobs in sub-Saharan Africa. A by-product of this trade is the increase of United States exports to African nations to the tune of $26.8 billion worth in 2013.
U.S. Rep. Karen Bass represents the 37th Congressional District, which includes Los Angeles, Century City, and Culver City and was the 67th Speaker of the California Assembly. Rep. Bass serves as the Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights.