A bipartisan effort spearheaded by Florida Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D) and Texas Rep. Michael McCaul (R) introduced a bill this week to improve trade between the United States and Africa. The Prosper Africa Act would “promote two-way trade and investment between the United States and Africa.” Moreover, it “codifies an existing interagency initiative developed to increase trade and investment, connecting U.S. and African companies with new buyers, suppliers, and investment opportunities.”
In a statement, Murphy praised the legislation, saying that “increasing trade and direct investment between the United States and Africa is an important way to protect U.S. national security by countering and out-competing authoritarian countries making inroads in Africa.” Murphy added that “it is also a key way to promote the prosperity of allies and partners on the continent, to open new opportunities for American businesses, and to improve quality of life for American families.”
McCaul echoed in Murphy’s remarks, noting that “advancing two-way trade and investment between the U.S. and African partners must be a key foreign policy priority.”
Calling “the establishment of the Prosper Africa Initiative in 2019… an important step,” McCaul expressed that “much more is needed to ensure the U.S. is showing up, competing for these business opportunities, and providing an alternative to China’s Belt in Road.”
The legislation addresses a number of other concerns that were outlined in a press release distributed by Rep. Murphy’s office.
- Advances U.S. commercial diplomacy efforts and support for businesses seeking to invest on the continent, compete for business opportunities and provide an alternative to China’s Belt in Road investments.
- Catalyzes U.S. and African private sector investment to create jobs both in the U.S. and in Africa, promoting economic growth and putting the continent on a path from aid to trade
- Requires a biennial United States-African Leaders Summit to convene heads of state to discuss shared diplomatic, economic and security partnerships; and
- Requires a whole-of-government strategy, implementation plan, and robust monitoring and evaluation of ongoing activities to ensure the initiative is advancing its objectives.