Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) made the following statement regarding passage of legislation in the House and Senate extending expiring provisions of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) implementing technical corrections to the textile provisions of the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) and renewing expiring sanctions on Burma:
"This legislation is significant step in boosting our trade and investment ties with Africa and Central America while supporting job growth in the United States.
"AGOA is the cornerstone of our trade policy with sub-Saharan Africa and underscores our commitment to sustainable development in the region. This bill extends the third country fabric provision that is crucial to the sustainability of Africa's textile and apparel industry, aiding in the continued success of the AGOA program. It also makes the world's newest country, the Republic of South Sudan eligible to participate in AGOA.
"With the corrections and modifications to the rules of origin for textile and apparel products, CAFTA will help create American jobs and improve trade integration by encouraging greater use of U.S. inputs in CAFTA-DR countries.
"While Burma has made progress on critical reforms over the past year, more must be done. Extending the President's authority to ban imports from the country will encourage further action, particularly with regard to respect for human rights.
"I'm pleased at the bi-partisan support for passage of this legislation. I will work with my colleagues to ensure we continue to advance policies that support and strengthen our domestic economy while strengthening and expanding critical trade relationships with countries around the world."