It is essential that African countries commit to further improving their institutional capacity in order to effectively tax and redistribute the profits of the CFTA. These include the integration and harmonization of regulatory measures, the removal of non-tariff barriers to trade and investment, and the facilitation of entry into the formal economy. (6) (8) The reality: it is the overall level of trade – exports and imports – that most accurately reflects American prosperity. Prosperity is defined by the breadth and diversity of what Americans can consume. More exports only increase prosperity because they allow Americans to buy more imports and provide more incentives for non-Americans to invest in America, which helps the U.S. economy grow. The limitation of imports leaves the Americans less well off. In general, these quotas are put in place to protect domestic industry and vulnerable producers and to promote the free exchange of goods and services between Member States. The trade deficit is not a debt.

A growing trade deficit, despite its misleading name, is good for the economy. It`s usually a signal that global investors are confident in America`s economic future. The U.S. trade deficit could be larger than usual if a trading partner chooses to keep the price of its currency artificially low, but this practice hurts the trading partner, not the United States. Too often, trade restrictions hurt precisely the people who want to protect them: American consumers and producers. Trade restrictions limit the choice of what Americans can buy; They also drive up the prices of everything from clothing and food to materials used by manufacturers to make everyday products. In addition, low-income Americans typically bear a disproportionate share of these costs…