SA to retain preferential access under Agoa

Having met various benchmarks set by President Barack Obama to allow the import and sales of US meat products, SA will keep preferential access for its farming goods to the world’s biggest market.

President Obama said:

"I have determined that suspending the application of duty-free treatment to certain goods is no longer necessary to promote compliance by SA with such requirements."

Obama said in January this year that should SA fail to implement an agreement with the US on meat trade, the US would suspend SA's preferential access for agricultural products under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa). The deal included that US bone-in chicken pieces could be sold in SA without anti-dumping duties.

Agoa favours 39 African nations by eliminating import levies on more than 7,000 products ranging from textiles to manufactured items. To continue as beneficiaries of Agoa, countries are required to cut barriers to US trade and investment, operate a market-based economy, protect workers' rights and implement economic policies to reduce poverty. SA has been under pressure to open its market to US meat. The SA government published regulations in December 2015 allowing for an annual quota of 65,000 tons of poultry from the US. The first shipment arrived in the country on 19 February this year.

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