The Clinton administration will pursue the objectives of the African Growth and Opportunity Act even if the U.S. Senate, according to Tom McGinty, who heads the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Africa Team, does not pass the bill.

      During his comments at a meeting in Atlanta on May 7 held in conjunction with the National Summit on Africa, Mr. McGinty pointed to three new funds of the Overseas Private Investment Corp. (OPIC), a federal agency, as examples of the administration’s support for African development.

      These funds include the $120 million New Africa Opportunity Fund established in 1996, the $150 million Modern Africa Growth and Investment Fund of 1997 and a $500 million fund earmarked for African infrastructure projects that was approved in March.

      Mr. McGinty also pointed to a new post at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, which will be devoted to developing bilateral and multilateral trade agreements with African countries.

      He said the administration also would ensure that one of the directors of the Export-Import Bank had extensive business experience in Africa.

      The U.S. House voted in March in favor of the bill, which seeks to stimulate trade and investment with African countries implementing democratic and free market reforms.

      Mr. McGinty may be reached by calling (423) 545-4637 at the Knoxville Export Assistance Center.