Congressman Charles B. Rangel, responose after the House voted to pass H.R. 1295, the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, which includes the reauthorization of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and is now on its way to the White House for the President’s signature:
“I am very proud that we were able to work together in both chambers and across the aisle to pass this critical bill that will extend the African Growth and Opportunity Act , and help promote trade and economic growth for both American and African businesses. It is important to recognize that while the United States has always enacted these programs out of a desire to help poorer nations prosper and develop, we are also beneficiaries of these programs.
As the prime author of AGOA which was first enacted in 2000, I thank Ways and Means Committee Chairman Ryan for his leadership in putting together a package that is key to long-term, meaningful investment in Africa – which itself is the engine of growth. I also thank my colleagues who worked with me to improve it. I am pleased that we are also extending the Haiti programs to 2025, which will put them on the same schedule as AGOA and make it easier for us to consider their extensions at the same time. It is my hope that this kind of long term extension will help African entrepreneurs to expand their existing investments.
I would have liked to vote for reauthorization the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) in a much more appropriate way than the bill I voted for. I still believe a broader package, that includes measures to better prepare our work force through education, jobs training, and modernized infrastructure, should have been part of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA).”
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