Evans Hosts U.S. Trade Representative for Roundtable on Expanding Philadelphia Region Trade with Africa

August 12, 2020
Press Release

PHILADELPHIA (Aug. 12, 2020) – Congressman Dwight Evans (PA-03) hosted a virtual roundtable today with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, congressional colleagues and business leaders from the Philadelphia region. Evans serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees trade issues.

The event allowed Congressman Evans and Ambassador Lighthizer to hear from local businesses and community leaders on the effects of African trade policy on the Philadelphia region, as well as discuss how to increase trade between Philadelphia and Africa. Evans discussed why Philadelphia-Africa business linkages are important, where they are and why they help U.S.-Africa and Africa-Philadelphia trade.

Evans said, “I appreciate Ambassador Lighthizer taking the time to have this discussion with stakeholders from the Philadelphia area. Today’s event focused on the sometimes-overlooked Africa market, and trade overall has enormous potential to retain and create jobs in the Philadelphia region, especially since we have one of the East Coast’s major ports. Trade agreements or modifications to them are often years in the making and it can be vital to have input at early stages.”

Ambassador Lighthizer said, “I thank Congressman Evans for hosting this important event. President Trump is deeply committed to expanding America’s trade relationship with Africa. Under his leadership, the United States is negotiating a free trade agreement with Kenya, which would be America’s first trade agreement with a sub-Saharan African nation. Our vision is to conclude a comprehensive, high-standard agreement with Kenya that will serve as a model for additional agreements with other African countries, expanding U.S.-Africa trade and investment across a continent that will account for nearly a fifth of the world’s consumers by the year 2030.”

Evans was joined by colleagues Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade; and Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01).

Blumenauer said, “Expanding U.S. trade with Africa is a critical opportunity for global affairs, for the economy, for national security, and for relationship building. Ambassador Lighthizer has been clear about the needs and opportunities in this area, and today’s conversation organized by Congressman Evans will help us continue to move these important opportunities forward.”

Evans thanked his colleagues and former Ambassador Robin Renee Sanders, CEO of the FEEEDS Initiative, who has extensive diplomatic experience on African issues and moderated today’s discussion.

Evans represents Pennsylvania’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes Northwest and West Philadelphia and parts of North, South, Southwest and Center City Philadelphia.