December 4, 2023

U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee passes resolution encouraging greater trade partnership with Africa and reaffirming relationship with African Union

Karen Bass in D.C. in September 2020 (Photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call Inc. via Getty Images)
Karen Bass in D.C. in September 2020 (Photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call Inc. via Getty Images)

The United States House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs on Wednesday passed by voice vote a resolution introduced by Africa Subcommittee Chair Karen Bass (D-CA) and Ranking Member Chris Smith (R-NJ) reaffirming the significance of the African Union as a strategic international partner to the United States and expressing strong support for partnerships that cultivate intra-African trade.

“The United States (U.S.) and the African Union (AU) enjoy a strong relationship with a deep history of cooperation and collaboration. As the first non-African country to establish a diplomatic mission to the AU, the United States has continued to work with the AU toward shared geopolitical, socioeconomic, and security goals since its inception 20 years ago. Promoting free trade – and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in particular – is just another level of support that continues our commitment to advancing African-led strategies for economic expansion. Bolstering the implementation of the AfCFTA must be a focus of U.S. foreign policy since free trade across Africa will improve the quality of life of all Africans while growing investment opportunities for U.S. businesses,” said Rep. Bass.

Rep. Bass added, “I am proud to have led this resolution, passed by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs during the 20th anniversary of the African Union, which puts the U.S. Congress on record committing to strengthening our partnerships with the AU and African nations, and the next chapter of that partnership is in backing the AfCFTA’s transformational goals.”

H.Res. 1342 details how the U.S. has engaged in numerous partnerships with the African Union and its member states to meet our shared goals of peace and security, democratic governance, public health and nutrition, and food security in Africa. To grow opportunities for intra-Africa commercial activity, the resolution also expresses support for the newly established AfCFTA.

The resolution is co-sponsored by Reps. Ami Bera (CA-07), Anthony Brown (MD-04), Shontel Brown (OH-11), Cori Bush (MO-01), Andre Carson (IN-07), Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (FL-20), David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Emanuel Cleaver, II (MO-5), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Theodore E. Deutch (FL-22), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Dwight Evans (PA-03), John Garamendi (CA-03), Steven Horsford (NV-04), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Sara Jacobs (CA-53), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (GA-04), William R. Keating (MA-09), Robin L. Kelly (IL-02), Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Ted W. Lieu (CA-33), James P. McGovern (MA-02), Gregory Meeks (NY-05), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Dean Phillips (MN-03), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Bobby L. Rush (IL-01), Terri A. Sewell (AL-07), Brad Sherman (CA-30), Albio Sires (NJ-08), Thomas R. Suozzi (NY-03), Bennie G. Thompson (MS-02), Dina Titus (NV-01), Juan Vargas (CA-51), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), and Nikema Williams (GA-05).

A copy of H.Res. 1342 can be found here.

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