November 17, 1999
News Release 99-159
Inv. No. 332-362
ITC RELEASES FIFTH REPORT ON
U.S.-SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA TRADE
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) today released U.S.-Africa Trade Flows and
Effects of the Uruguay Round Trade Agreements and U.S. Trade and Development Policy, the fifth
and final report in a series intended to assist the President in developing a comprehensive trade
and development policy for the countries of Africa.
The ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, conducted the investigation for
the United States Trade Representative (USTR) under the Africa Policy Section of the Statement
of Administrative Action that Congress approved with the Uruguay Round Agreements Act.
As requested by USTR, the ITC's study is limited to the 48 countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. The
current report provides an update for 1998 on U.S.-Africa trade and investment flows in major
sectors; an identification of major developments in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and in
U.S. trade and economic policy and commercial activities that significantly affect bilateral trade
and investment with the region; information on changing trade and economic activities within
individual countries; and an update on progress in regional integration in Africa. Following are
some highlights of the report:
- For the first time in four years, total two-way trade between the United States and the
region declined. It dropped from $22 billion in 1997 to $19.9 billion in 1998, a drop of
almost 10 percent. The main reason for this decrease was a 28 percent drop in the value
U.S. imports of Sub-Saharan energy-related products (principally crude petroleum), by far
the greatest contributor to total U.S. imports from the region.
- The sharp decline in the value of U.S. oil imports from the region translated into a major
improvement in the longstanding trade deficit with Sub-Saharan Africa. The deficit totaled
$6.8 billion in 1998, down from almost $10 billion the previous year.
- Total U.S. merchandise exports to the region in 1998 rose by 7.4 percent to $6.5 billion,
up from $6.1 billion in 1997. Total U.S. imports from the region fell 16.5 percent in
1998, from about $16 billion in 1997 to $13.4 billion in 1998.
- The largest share of U.S. exports to the region is in the transportation equipment sector,
accounting for 34.2 percent of the total in 1998 and 28 percent in 1997.
- Nigeria is the largest supplier of U.S. imports from the region, with almost $5 billion in
sales (predominantly energy-related products) to the United States representing 36 percent
of the region's total merchandise exports to the United States in 1998.
- Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) imports from Sub-Saharan Africa increased
dramatically in 1998, up 73 percent from $1.4 billion in 1997 to $2.4 billion. Angola has
surpassed South Africa as the largest Sub-Saharan African GSP import supplier to the
United States. Duty-free GSP imports from Angola grew by 135 percent in 1998.
- U.S. service exports to Africa increased by 12.2 percent in 1997. Tourism was the leading
U.S. service export to Africa in 1997, accounting for 29 percent of the total; this was
followed by professional services with 24 percent, freight transportation with 10.9 percent,
and education with 10.6 percent. The largest U.S. trading partner for services is South
- Sub-Saharan Africa received about $4.8 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) flows in
1998, a decline of about 8.3 percent from the previous year. This decline was due, in
part, to the fact that South Africa's strong performance in privatization in 1997 was not
- Global FDI to developing countries declined by 5 percent to $154.9 billion in 1998; Sub-
Saharan Africa's share of that amount also dropped slightly to 3.1 percent in 1998, down
from 3.2 percent of total investment to developing countries in 1997.
- U.S. gross direct investment to the region declined by 43 percent, from $3.8 billion in
1997 to $2.2 billion in 1998.
- Some U.S. government programs directed toward Sub-Saharan Africa increased in 1998,
compared to the previous year. Total U.S. bilateral economic assistance to Sub-Saharan
Africa increased from $998 million in fiscal year 1997 to $1.1 billion in fiscal year 1998.
- In 1998, several Sub-Saharan African countries continued to increase their efforts to
avail themselves of WTO benefits and other programs aimed at improving their trade
performance. A number of countries received multilateral assistance through the WTO
Trust Fund for Technical Cooperation -- where 1998-99 contributions worth
$4.5 million are used to fund instruction for officials of less developed countries.
U.S.-Africa Trade Flows and Effects of the Uruguay Round Trade Agreements and U.S. Trade
and Development Policy (Investigation No. 332-362, USITC Publication 3250, October 1999)
will be available on the ITC's Internet server at www.usitc.gov. A printed copy may be
requested by calling 202-205-1809 or by writing the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International
Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. Requests may also be faxed
-- 30 --