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CGD Policy Blogs

 

An image of Chinese currency on a map of Africa.

The US Trade Representative Outlined a New US-China Trade Policy. What Does This Mean for Africa?

After a lengthy review of the Trump administration’s trade policy toward China, the Biden administration unveiled its approach on October 4th. It is the conclusion of the Biden administration that structural inequities in trade relations remain, and that China is not compliant with Phase I of the agreement it reached with the Trump administration. The American position, as outlined by US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, carries implications for African economies.

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Multilateral Trade Agreements Should Constitute the Cornerstone of Biden’s US-Africa Policy

The ongoing negotiations over a US-Kenya trade agreement embody the contradictions and likely pitfalls in the Biden Administration's Africa policy. Despite assurances from its promoters, the potential agreement remains unpopular in African states. Many observers view such a deal as potentially undermining the AfCFTA and African economic unity. As the region’s population and economies continue to expand, African multilateralism is most likely going to get stronger over time. Therefore, for any trade deal to work in strengthening US-Africa ties in the long run, it must be seen by citizens in various African states to be mutually beneficial and consistent with African multilateral initiatives like the AfCFTA.

An industrial welder at work. Adobe Stock

Netflix’s “American Factory” and the New Geography of Manufacturing

Perhaps the most surprising was how similar these scenes playing out in America are to those I’ve seen in Africa. To be sure, many of the factories I visited in Africa were smaller-scale and simpler in their operations than the Ohio glass plant in American Factory. But some Chinese-owned factories in Africa are similarly large-scale and technologically advanced, and no matter the size of the factory, I witnessed many of the same struggles to find cross-cultural understanding, to teach workers genuinely difficult skills, and to withstand the pressure of a highly competitive, global industry.

microphone

Prospects for Prosper Africa: CGD Podcast

Landry Signé, Aubrey Hruby, Judd Devermont, and Gyude Moore on their expectations for the new Prosper Africa initiative and the roles that infrastructure, communication, and the US Development Finance Corporation might play in its impact.

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