From the Document: "On May 30, 2019, the framework agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) entered into force. Trading under the agreement, however, is not expected to occur until mid-2020 at the earliest, as negotiations continue on critical commitments, including tariff liberalization schedules. If fully realized, the AfCFTA would cover 54 countries (the largest of any regional trade bloc), creating a market encompassing 1.2 billion people with combined economic output in 2018 of $2.5 trillion. Through the AfCFTA, the African Union (AU) seeks to create a pan-African free trade area liberalizing the flow of goods and services, thereby increasing intra-African trade and enhancing regional development prospects. All but one (Eritrea) of the AU's 55 members have signed the agreement, and 29 had ratified it as of January 2020. Many observers hailed the AfCFTA agreement's entry into force as a milestone in African economic integration. Its impact, however, will depend on future negotiations and on its successful implementation in a region in which some past trade integration efforts have fallen short of their ambitions. The United States, partly as directed by Congress, has provided assistance to expand Africa's intra-regional and global trade through various initiatives. The Trump Administration broadly supports the AfCFTA and has pledged U.S. assistance for its implementation--but has also stated interest in negotiating one or more bilateral trade agreements in the region, which could potentially complicate AfCFTA negotiations and implementation."
CRS In Focus, IF11423
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/