- African Growth and Opportunity Act
TRALAC - Trade Law Centre
You are here: Home/News/Article/SA 'offers chickens for AGOA renewal'

SA 'offers chickens for AGOA renewal'

SA 'offers chickens for AGOA renewal'
Published date:
Tuesday, 05 August 2014
Peter Fabricius


The government is likely to allow some US chicken imports into the local market at lower tariffs in exchange for continued participation in the lucrative African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) preferential trade scheme.

President Jacob Zuma is leading a major charge by the government and business at the US-Africa summit in Washington this week to win renewal of Agoa, which allows almost 95 percent of South African exports into the US market at zero or greatly reduced tariff rates.

Yesterday Zuma urged the influential US Chamber of Commerce to support the renewal of Agoa for 15 years with South Africa’s participation when it expires next year.

Although President Barack Obama’s administration supports Agoa’s renewal, the decision will be made by Congress and some US business interests and legislators want South Africa to be “graduated” because it is an upper-middle-income country and because they say it is discriminating against US imports.

Tom Donohue, the president and chief executive of the US Chamber of Commerce, told Zuma that the chamber was lobbying Congress hard for a renewal of Agoa with South Africa in it. But he said South Africa needed to protect US intellectual property rights and trademarks, strengthen investor protections, repeal anti-dumping measures “and settle ongoing issues over ownership of foreign-headquartered firms”.

Officials said South Africa was responding to these complaints by considering the introduction of a tariff rate quota agreement, which would allow a quota of US chicken imports into the local market at lower tariffs.

President Jacob Zuma arrives at the US-SA Africa Business and Investment Forum hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce ahead of the US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington.

And Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies disclosed last week that his department was investigating complaints by the US government that restrictions on US pork and beef imports on health grounds were “unfair and unscientific”.

Zuma told the chamber that renewing Agoa would benefit not only South Africa, but also the US and Africa as a whole.

“Our message to you today is simple. South Africa is open for business, open for tourism and open for partnerships in many sectors,” Zuma said.

“There are many opportunities to be explored in our country and beyond.”

One of the key instruments that would help to expand trade relations with the US was Agoa, Zuma added.

“Agoa has transformed the economic landscape for many African countries and South Africa. It is the cornerstone of trade relations between the US and sub-Saharan Africa.

“Agoa has also greatly enhanced trade between the US and South Africa. Almost 95 percent of South African exports receive preferential treatment under Agoa. We advocate the renewal of Agoa for another 15 years with the inclusion of South Africa.

“We strongly believe that by endorsing the extension of Agoa, the US will be promoting African integration, industrialisation and infrastructure development.

“South Africa’s economic growth is inextricably linked to that of Africa as a whole. That is why we put great emphasis in developing, not only our country’s infrastructure, but that of the African continent too,” Zuma said, describing his work as champion for the AU’s project to build a North-South transport and trade corridor to link Durban via Dar es Salaam to Cairo.


Read related news articles

South Africa walks a tightrope on US relations

South Africa has been conducting a high-wire act in its relations with the United States (US). It is maintaining friendships with Washington’s enemies like Russia, Iran and China while trying to avoid disrupting its economic relations with America. Tensions came closer than ever to breaking point this month as the US House of Representatives’ Committee on Foreign Affairs passed the US-South Africa Bilateral Relations...

28 March 2024

Remarks by Deputy Treasury Secretary Adeyemo on the US-South Africa economic relationship

As Prepared for Delivery in Johannesburg, South Africa Thank you for the warm welcome. I want to express my gratitude to Consul General Spera and the American Chamber of Commerce for hosting me. I am honored to be joined today by South African Entrepreneurs that are building companies to unlock the economic potential of their country.  I owe my own presence here today to the inspiration I drew from South Africa. In the middle of the...

13 March 2024

South African president Ramaphosa meets with US congressional delegation

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa today, 21 February 2024, received for a visit from a bipartisan congressional delegation from the United States of America, in Tuynhuys, Cape Town. The delegation is visiting South Africa at the invitation of the Aspen Institute. The President and the US congressional delegation discussed the importance of the relationship between South Africa and the US, which manifests in strong economic,...

21 February 2024

US congress receives Bill to review South Africa relations

A bill has been submitted to the United States congress calling for a full review of the country’s bilateral relationship with South Africa following the International Court of Justice ruling that found it plausible that Israel has committed acts of genocide against Gaza. The bipartisan bill which was introduced by US Republican congressman John James and Democratic Party congressman Jared Moskowitz this week could threaten South...

09 February 2024

Fitch research unit expects better AGOA deal for South Africa

Fitch’s research arm, BMI, believes SA has done enough to get improved trade terms under the African Growth & Opportunity Act (Agoa), which it expects to be extended and modified before its expiry in September 2025. But it warns that the deal might be stillborn if Donald Trump is elected US president. The research think-tank said in a note it assigns a 65% probability that Agoa will not only be renewed but modified to the benefit of...

09 January 2024

South Africa: BLSA CEO calls for more companies to leverage AGOA opportunities

Many more South African companies could benefit from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which gives eligible countries access to US markets free of tariff barriers, business organisation BusinessLeadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso writes in her weekly newsletter. Apart from mainstream formal sector businesses, there are opportunities to enable more entrepreneurs, including women-led...

20 November 2023

US ambassador: AGOA is an opportunity to deepen ties between the US and South Africa

President Joe Biden last December at the US-Africa Leaders Summit affirmed that the US will elevate its relationship with Africa. The future is Africa. One example is its youthful population: the median age on the continent is 19. By 2050, one in four people in the world will be in Africa. The US wants them to be healthy and wealthy. What happens in Africa will affect the rest of the globe — and we want to work together to ensure it is...

09 November 2023

US Senator Chris Coons proposes AGOA extension by 16 years, immediate review of SA’s AGOA eligibility

Powerful US Democratic Party Senator Chris Coons is circulating a discussion draft of a Bill to renew the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) for 16 years that would also require an immediate “out-of-cycle” review of South Africa’s eligibility for Agoa. That could lead to South Africa being removed next year from the programme, which has provided considerable benefits to SA exporters to the US of cars, fruits and wine, in...

07 November 2023

AGOA benefits extend beyond trade [incl. VIDEO of Friday's opening session]

Economies in Sub-Saharan countries stand to benefit far more from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) than notable trade statistics, says President Cyril Ramaphosa. “AGOA enhances the diversification of African economies, enabling them to export value-added products. By enabling African countries to have preferential access to the US market, this opportunity incentivises African countries to develop and export value-added goods...

06 November 2023

South Africa pins its hopes on an early 2024 US Congress renewal of AGOA

South Africa’s government is hoping that the process to renew the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) by the US Congress will be concluded by early 2024, ensuring that more than 20 African countries continue to have duty-free access to the world’s largest economy.   This is the first time that the South African government has given a timeline for when it hopes the US Congress might extend Agoa, which has been renewed twice...

05 November 2023

SA trade minister Patel expresses confidence at media briefing about South Africa’s continued inclusion in AGOA

Ahead of South Africa hosting the US-AfricaTrade and Economic Cooperation Forum – also called the AGOA Forum – from November 2 to 4, Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel on October 26 briefed the media on the state of readiness for the forum, expressing confidence that the South African government’s relations with the US were strong. Various South African stakeholders have been motivating for...

26 October 2023

You are here: Home/News/Article/SA 'offers chickens for AGOA renewal'