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August 3 Briefing with Peter Barlerin, Senior Bureau Official for the Bureau of African Affairs and Constance Hamilton, Acting Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa


Please join us on Thursday, August 3, 2017, at 9am EDT for a telephonic press conference with Peter Barlerin, Senior Bureau Official for the Bureau of African Affairs and Constance Hamilton, Acting Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa who will discuss the United States and Togo co-hosting the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum in Lomé, Togo August 8-10. The Forum will bring together senior government officials from the United States and 38 Sub-Saharan African AGOA-eligible countries to discuss ways to boost economic cooperation and trade between the United States and Africa. The African Union and regional economic communities will also participate.


The theme of this year's Forum is "The United States and Africa: Partnering for Prosperity through Trade." The 2017 Forum will explore how countries can continue to maximize the benefits of AGOA in a rapidly changing economic landscape, and highlight the important role played by women, civil society, and the private sector in promoting trade and generating prosperity.

Representatives from the private sector, civil society, and the U.S.-sponsored African Women's Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP) will participate in Forum activities August 8-9


Speaker: Peter Barlerin, Senior Bureau Official for the Bureau of African Affairs and Constance Hamilton, Acting Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa
Date: August 3 2017
Time: 09:00 EDT
* Please use Time Zone Converter to determine the start time of the event in your time zone.
Language: English
Ground rules: On the record
Dial-in Info: To be provided once you RSVP
RSVP: RSVP to afmediahub@state.gov. On the occasion that you request we dial out to you (provide the phone number).
Twitter: We will use the hashtag #AGOA for the call. Follow us on @AfricaMediaHub


Callers should dial-in to the conference call 10-15 minutes early. When an individual journalist dials-in, the operator will collect the caller's name, press affiliation, and location. When an embassy dials in, the operator will ask for the embassy's name and location. The moderator will facilitate the Q and A among the connected callers. Journalists on the conference call will be instructed to press the "*" and "1" buttons on their phones in order to enter the question queue. NOTE: You can press asterix and the number 1 (*1) at any time during the call to join the question queue, even before the moderator begins the Q and A portion. We ask that journalists limit themselves to one question. Journalists can also submit questions in English to afmediahub@state.gov prior to or during the call.


Peter Henry Barlerin, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs

Peter Henry Barlerin is a career Foreign Service Officer and a member of the Senior Foreign Service. He currently serves as the Senior Bureau Official for the Bureau of African Affairs. He was previously the Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary. Additionally he served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for West Africa and Economic & Regional Affairs, with responsibility for relations with 16 West African countries and the U.S. Mission to the African Union, in Addis Ababa.

He has been Director of the Office of Economic &Regional Affairs, with oversight for sub-Saharan Africa on economics, energy, and environment; democracy and governance, multilateral affairs; and budget and strategic planning. Prior to this assignment he served as a Special Advisor to the Chair of the Kimberley Process, an international body that seeks to prevent rebel groups from profiting from the illicit sale of rough diamonds. He served from 2009 to 2012 as Deputy Chief of Mission in Bamako, Mali. His previous tours include Paris and Tokyo, as well as three previous Africa-related tours.

Before joining the State Department, he worked at the Council of Economic Advisors, under the Presidency of Ronald Reagan, and was a research associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. A/PDAS Barlerin holds an M.A. in Economics from the University of Maryland and a B.A. from Middlebury College.He is married to the former Ines Denise Rulis, with whom he has three adult children.

Constance A. Hamilton, Acting Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa

Constance Hamilton is the Acting Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Ms. Hamilton is responsible for advancing bilateral, regional and multilateral U.S. initiatives to enhance U.S. trade and economic cooperation with the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. This includes measures to open markets; improve the investment climates in African countries, and implementation of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

Prior to joining USTR, Ms. Hamilton was Supervisory Economist and Chief of the Asia-Africa Division at the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC). In this position, she directed the agency analysis of African and Asian trade and investment issues. During her tenure at the USITC, Ms. Hamilton directed and planned special research studies on a broad range of regional and trade topics, including the NAFTA, trade with non-market economy countries, and industrial targeting.

Before joining the U.S. International Commission, Ms. Hamilton was an Economist with the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights where she developed methodologies and survey instruments for research into issues pertinent to the mission of the agency. Ms. Hamilton began her career as a Research Associate with the Urban Institute, a non-profit think tank specializing in research in the areas of public finance, economic development, and housing.

Ms. Hamilton holds a Bachelors and a Master's Degree in Economics from Howard University. She is co-author of numerous publications in the field of international trade.

Distributed by APO on behalf of U.S. Department of State.
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