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U.S. Playing “Catch Up” to China in Africa, Says Senior Commerce Department Official

Deputy Commerce Secretary Don Graves speaking at the Semafor Africa Summit on November 12, 2022. Image via Semafor.

U.S. Deputy Commerce Secretary Don Graves said the quiet part out loud on Monday at the Semafor Africa Summit in Washington, D.C., when he acknowledged that American stakeholders had fallen far behind China in terms of economic engagement in Africa.

Graves, though, like so many of his U.S. government peers, still apparently believes that China imports large quantities of labor to work on infrastructure projects throughout the continent. While that claim is still widely believed among many U.S. officials, it is no longer accurate according to independent research:

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