March 24, 2012
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) is proud to join with U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) in the introduction of bipartisan legislation entitled, The Increasing American Jobs through Greater Exports to Africa Act of 2012. The bill will help to enhance America’s business positioning throughout the continent of Africa by improving communication and coordination between U.S. government agencies and departments. It will establish clear cut strategic goals, and help create an environment that encourages private investment.
“This bill is the right bill for these challenging economic times,” Rep. Rush said. “The US has talked for too long about Africa as the next trade and investment frontier. Meanwhile, American businesses are facing serious competition in continental African markets. We now have a tremendous opportunity to build mutually beneficial policies that create jobs and economic growth on both continents. Sub-Saharan Africa, in particular, comprises some of the fastest growing economies in the world. Over the next five years, 7 of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies will come from this region. In 2008, Africa’s purchasing power reached $860 billion with a projection to grow upwards of $1.4 trillion in the next 10 years.”
The bill, including language from H.R.656—The African Investment and Diaspora Act of 2011, that was introduced by Rush last year—is designed to help position American investors to benefit from the economic growth that Africa now experiences.
“For a long time, Africa has been portrayed only as a continent riddled with war, dictatorship, poverty, and disease,” Rush said. “The true story of its country-by-country reawakening and revival, the story of many great successes remains untold. This legislation will help to change those misguided perceptions and foster a greater understanding among U.S. business and financial communities of the opportunities that exist throughout Africa.
Other noted and recognized commentators on US-Africa trade and commercial relations immediately supported the introduction of Rep. Rush’s legislation.
Stephen Hayes, the President and CEO, Corporate Council on Africa made the following comments:
“Africa has never been more important to the US economy than it is now. The opportunities in the African marketplace are growing daily, and if the American private sector, working with our Government, does not take advantage of these opportunities jobs will be lost for American workers and manufacturers to those countries that do already understand the value of the American marketplace. The American product is highly respected throughout the fifty-four nations of Africa and we must be able to compete. To be able to compete we must have a far more active and greater presence throughout the continent.”
Source U.S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush Page
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