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US aims at doubling bilateral trade with Ghana to $2.4b

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Robert Porter Jackson - U.S Ambassador to Ghana
Robert Porter Jackson – U.S Ambassador to Ghana

The US government says it is aiming at doubling bilateral trade with Ghana, currently at $1.2 billion, the country’s Ambassador to Ghana, Robert P. Jackson has said.

Speaking at a reception to commemorate the 240 Independence Day Celebration of the US Wednesday June 29, 2016, on the theme for the event, “Ghana and the United States of America: A Partnership for Growth and Prosperity”, he outlined some reasons why the US government is focusing on business and trade.

Noting that business and trade have played important roles in American history, he said 240 years ago, economic and trade policies were key reasons why the colonies sought independence.

“Since that time, business and trade have been central to our development,” he said.

The Ambassador indicated that his government was focusing on business and trade because of their importance to their relationship with Ghana.

“You may have heard me say that my goal for the next three years is to double our bilateral trade. Of course, I hope to see an increased number of American products and services here, but I also want to see Ghana transform its manufacturing sector and send an increased amount of ‘Made in Ghana’ exports to the US market,” he said.

According to US government department of trade website, Ghana is currently America’s 89th largest goods trading partner with $1.5 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2014. Goods exports totalled $1.2 billion; goods imports totalled $272 million. The US goods trade surplus with Ghana was $915 million in 2014.

According to the Department of Commerce, US exports of Goods to Ghana supported an estimated 5000 jobs in 2014.

In terms of exports, Ghana was the United States’ 77th largest goods export market in 2014.

US goods exports to Ghana in 2014 were $1.2 billion, up 20.8 per cent ($204 million) from 2013, and up 283 per cent from 2004.

The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2014 were: mineral fuels (oil) ($429 million), machinery ($177 million), vehicles ($159 million), meat (poultry) ($69 million), and plastics ($41 million).

US exports of agricultural products to Ghana totalled $129 million in 2014. Leading categories include: poultry meat and products. (ex. eggs) ($69 million), wheat ($21 million), rice ($11 million), soybean meal ($9 million), and processed vegetables ($7 million).

Ghana was the United States’ 105th largest supplier of goods imports in 2014.

US goods imports from Ghana totalled $272 million in 2014, down 25.8 per cent ($94 million) from 2013, and up 86.8 per cent from 2004.

The five largest import categories in 2014 were: cocoa ($190 million), wood and wood products ($22 million), precious metal and stone (gold) ($14 million), vegetables (yams) ($9 million), and special other (returns) ($7 million).

US imports of agricultural products from Ghana totalled $216 million in 2014. Leading categories include: cocoa beans ($158 million), cocoa paste and cocoa butter ($33 million), fresh vegetables ($9 million), tree nuts ($7 million), and rubber and allied products ($4 million).

The US goods trade surplus with Ghana was $915 million in 2014, a 48.4 per cent increase ($298 million) over 2013.

Mr. Jackson indicated that the US government is working with the Ghana government to create an environment that will attract investment and stimulate broadbased economic growth that benefits Ghanaians.

On the November elections, Mr. Jackson reiterated that the only interest of the US is in seeing a free, fair and peaceful election that represents the will of Ghanaians.

“The government of the United States does not support a particular candidate. We do not support a particular party. We will work with the elected government of Ghana just as we always have,” he added.

He also urged Ghanaians to stand firm in the coming months as the election approaches, as people who put their own interests ahead of all else will try to divide them.

“Stand firm. Make it clear that you stand for peace. That you stand for transparency. That you stand for Ghana,” he said.

In his remarks, Haruna Iddrisu, the Minister for Employment, speaking on behalf of the president, John Dramani Mahama, thanked the US government for its support to Ghana over the years.

He thanked the US among others, for providing $4.5 million in support of the November elections, promising that Ghana’s commitment to uphold her democratic values will never be compromised.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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