WASHINGTON –– Illinois U. S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush introduced “The U.S.-Africa Trade, Development and Diaspora Relations Promotion Act of 2010,” a bill that’s designed to further strengthen the trade relationship between the U.S. and Africa.
“I believe the year 2010 will go down in history as a turning point in U.S.-Africa relations,” said Rush who co-chairs the Africa Partnership for Economic Growth Caucus. “I am proud to introduce H.R. 6535, The U.S. Africa Trade, Development and Diaspora Relations Promotion Act of 2010, a bill that places the United States’ African Diaspora community in a position to better strengthen U.S.-Africa relations and to help advance socio-economic development, elements that are a prerequisite for true freedom and democracy. I believe this timely legislation creates a ‘win–win’ for both continents.”
Rush also noted that, today, African countries represent promising export destinations for American products because they possess untapped human and natural resources, while also representing some of the world’s fastest growing economies. At the same time, the African Diaspora constitutes a growing economic force for the U.S economy, including African immigrants who have some of the highest level of education compared to other immigrant populations.
“Given the high level of expertise among the entire African Diaspora, mobilizing a small fraction of these capacities would provide a significant contribution to the development efforts in Africa and help turn the ‘brain drain’ issue into what I prefer to call the ‘brain flow,’” Rush added.
Key provision of H.R. 6535 “The U.S.-Africa Trade, Development and Diaspora Relations Promotion Act of 2010” include the following:
Expresses the sense of Congress that the U.S. should continue to support efforts to foster socio-economic development and economic growth in Africa by:
––pursuing efforts to increase collaboration among United States government departments and agencies in order to more closely integrate and coordinate U.S. programs and policies aimed at promoting trade and investment with Africa;
––fostering United States public-private partnerships and other investments in Africa; and
––supporting and fostering citizen-led efforts to form business, technical, academic, and socio-cultural ties with Africans and supporting the efforts of all Americans and groups with interests and ties to Africa.
Creates a U.S. Special Representative for U.S.-Africa Trade, Development and Diaspora Affairs within the Department of State and recommends that this position serve as the head of an interagency working group whose mission would include convening a permanent, interagency United States-Africa Trade and Development Consultative Action Group.
Establishes five, regional centers to serve the northeastern, southern, plains, Midwest, western and northwestern regions of the continental United States with headquarters in cities with the highest proportion of African Diaspora residents
Recommends the creation of a report to Congress on the impact of this act on trade investments and job creation in the United States and Africa and the impact of the role of the African Diaspora in the United States in improving United States-Africa trade relations and economic development progress in Africa
Authorizes $5 million for the fiscal years 2011 through 2015.