Senate Passes Boozman, Durbin, Shaheen, Coons, Cassidy Bill to Increase U.S. Exports to Africa and Latin America in NDAA
Bipartisan Increasing American Jobs through Greater Exports to Africa Act would improve America’s competitiveness through the African continent, Latin America and the Caribbean
Jul 28 2023
WASHINGTON–U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chris Coons (D-DE) and Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) applauded Senate passage of their bipartisan legislation to improve America’s competitiveness throughout the African continent and in Latin America and the Caribbean. Included in the Senate version of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the Increasing American Jobs through Greater Exports to Africa Act will force better coordination between U.S. government agencies and departments, establish comprehensive strategic goals, and marshal private investments to expand U.S. exports to Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, serving America’s own economic benefit while simultaneously combating the Chinese Communist Party’s push to exert more authority in these regions.
The measure will help create American jobs by requiring a whole-of-government strategy to increase the number of U.S. exports to Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean by at least 200 percent in real dollar value within 10 years of enactment of the law.
“Our national security only benefits from fostering an effective trade strategy with African and Latin American nations, particularly at a time when China is going to great lengths to expand its self-serving influence and undermine U.S. strategic partnerships. I’m pleased our comprehensive approach to counter this nefarious behavior and increase the flow of American products and ideals are being included as part of our country’s defense policy and I look forward to further progress on this important issue,” Boozman said.
“Despite the strong demand for American products, our global competitors, particularly China, have been busy building markets on the African continent and with our neighbors in Latin America and the Caribbean. We cannot let the U.S. get left behind,” Durbin said. “I’m encouraged by the Senate’s move to pass our bipartisan bill as a provision in the NDAA. Once enacted, it will help American businesses create jobs at home, and ensure America continues to be seen as a leader in rapidly growing parts of the world. I’ll be working to ensure it is included in the final conferenced version of the NDAA.”
“Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean are important trading partners for the U.S. – not just to advance mutually strategic relationships, but also to ensure we remain competitive in growing markets against global adversaries like the People’s Republic of China. We need a comprehensive approach to solidify U.S. economic leadership and ensure an alternative to the People’s Republic of China’s manipulative trade practices for our neighbors abroad,” said Shaheen. “This bill will do just that while creating jobs for American workers and securing America’s presence on the global stage.”
“We need a stronger strategy for increasing U.S. exports to rapidly growing markets that will advance our leadership and create growth opportunities for U.S. businesses. By facilitating exports of U.S. goods and services to emerging markets, the Increasing American Jobs through Greater Exports to Africa Act will bring us closer to these important regions and ensure that United States businesses can better compete with China in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean,” said Coons. “I am glad this bipartisan bill was included in the NDAA package and that we are supporting export-driven jobs and industries in Delaware while strengthening developing economies.”
The tools available to the United States to compete competitively in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean are scattered, difficult for businesses to access and not effectively coordinated. The Increasing American Jobs through Greater Exports to Africa Act will harmonize the U.S. government’s focus on increasing exports to Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean by making the following improvements:
- Develop a comprehensive strategy to create American jobs by increasing U.S. goods and services exports to Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean by at least 200 percent in real dollar value over the next 10 years;
- Create Special Export Strategy Coordinators for Africa as well as Latin America and the Caribbean at the Department of Commerce to ensure government agencies work in tandem and maximize resources to help U.S. companies expand into African, Latin American and Caribbean markets;
- Encourage greater attention and coordination to African, Latin American and Caribbean commercial markets by appropriate U.S. government agencies; and,
- Standardize training received by U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service officers and Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development economic officers on key programs and procedures agencies such as the United States International Development Finance Corporation, the Small Business Administration and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.