TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

South Africa calls for extension of AGOA

Saturday, 04 August 2012

Source: Leadership (Nigeria)

The South African government would like an extension of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) for a reasonable amount of time, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said.

"Our overall message as the South African government is that we would like to see a rollover, an extension of Agoa for a reasonable period of time, along more or less the architecture of Agoa at the moment," said Davies at the weekend.

Agoa - which offers incentives for African countries to continue their efforts to open their economies and build free markets -- was signed into law in May 2000. It expires in 2015.

It aims to expand US trade and investment with Sub-Saharan Africa; stimulate economic growth; and promote a high-level dialogue on trade and investment-related issues, among others. Under the Act, Agoa countries are eligible to ship goods to the US without having to pay import duties.

Speaking at an Agoa beneficiaries' conference, Davies said in terms of South Africa's bilateral relations with the US, Agoa had sustained a pattern of trade between the two countries which was mutually beneficial.

This was despite trade taking a knock in 2009 as a result of the global financial crisis. Trade had recovered, with trade now in favour of South Africa, although this is not always the case.

The US is South Africa's third trade partner and second in terms of the destination of exports. The US is a significant investor in South Africa, with about 600 US companies operating within the South African economy.

South African imports to the US were of "reasonable" diversity, including the export of South African manufactured vehicles to the US as well as precious stones, iron and steel.

"We do have a number of value added products exported to the US. In other words, I think it has sustained and underpinned a trade relationship which is one of mutual benefit and one of opportunities, in particular for growth, development and industrial production on the part of South Africa," noted the minister.

Compared with other Agoa beneficiaries, South Africa has a broader range of products. This speaks to a challenge that the African continent faces in terms diversifying and industrialising countries.

Just on Thursday, the US Congress renewed the Third Country Fabric Provision of Agoa, which was set to expire at the end of September 2012. The provision waives duties on clothing from most Agoa countries.

“ Latest AGOA Trade Data currently available on

Click here to view a sector profile of South Africa's bilateral trade with the United States, disaggregated by total exports and imports, AGOA exports and GSP exports.

Other regularly updated trade statistics on include: (click each link to view)

  • AGOA-Beneficiary Countries’ AGOA and GSP Trade Aggregates

  • AGOA Trade by Industry Sector

  • Apparel Trade under AGOA’s Wearing Apparel Provisions

  • Latest Apparel Quotas under AGOA

  • Bilateral Trade Data for all AGOA-eligible countries individually.