Congo, Gambia eligible for trade benefits
- President declares Gambia and the Congo eligible for trade benefits
CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) President Bush has deemed two additional African
countries Gambia and the Congo eligible for trade benefits under
the 2-year-old African Growth and Opportunity Act.
The law gives many nations duty and quota access to the U.S. market and
encourages multinational corporations to invest in Africa.
Bush is required to determine annually which countries are making
progress toward a market-based economy, the rule of law, free trade,
economic policies that will reduce poverty, and protection of workers'
With the two additions, a total of 38 sub-Saharan African nations can
receive tariff preferences, White House deputy spokeswoman Claire
Buchan said Saturday.
Congo's benefits will be activated when it forms a transitional
government, expected in February, Buchan said. A cease-fire agreement
signed on Dec. 30 commits the government of Congolese President Joseph
Kabila and rebel groups to a transitional government to lead the nation
to democratic elections in about 2 1/2 years.
The other countries are: Benin; Botswana; Cameroon; Cape Verde; Central
African Republic; Chad; Republic of the Congo; Cote d'Ivoire; Djibouti;
Eritrea; Ethiopia; Gabon; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Kenya; Lesotho;
Madagascar; Malawi; Mali; Mauritania; Mauritius; Mozambique; Namibia;
Niger; Nigeria; Rwanda; São Tome and Principe; Senegal; Seychelles;
Sierra Leone; South Africa; Swaziland; Tanzania; Uganda; and Zambia.