- African Growth and Opportunity Act
TRALAC - Trade Law Centre
You are here: Home/News/Article/US firms actively involved in beneficiation - US ambassador

US firms actively involved in beneficiation - US ambassador

US firms actively involved in beneficiation - US ambassador
Published date:
Tuesday, 07 October 2014
Trust Matsilele

Addressing a Nedbank-NEPAD Networking Forum in Johannesburg, Gaspard said Africa has long been important to the US policy with the two regions now working through Power Africa and Feeding the Future initiatives.

The US envoy to South Africa added that the relationship between Africa and his country was moving from donor recipient to equal trade partnership.

Gaspard added that reframing relationships was vital in global economic growth.

“US through its PEPFAR programme has invested over 4.2 billion US dollars in the last decade reducing mother to child transmission by 35 per cent,” said Gaspard.

“Our motivation in Africa is not profiteering but seeing African economies growing.”

Among others, Gaspard warned that the continent needed to make impact assessment of its policies urging the business leaders attending the conference to take a leading role.

“Investment alone is not the missing silver bullet as transparency and good governance formed part of the required intervention,” he said.

Gaspard said the demographic boom without employment creation creates a concern as the large unemployment group was burgeoning.

Scott Eisner, representative from the US Chamber of Commerce leading a delegation in Africa said beyond foreign direct investment, Africa needed to encourage regional trade.

According to Eisner, inter-Africa trade is presently at about 17 per cent.

Eisner also took the opportunity to allay fears of possibility by the US congress to decline renewing African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

The AGOA was signed into law on 18 May, 2000 as Title 1 of The Trade and Development Act of 2000. The Act offers tangible incentives for African countries to continue their efforts to open their economies and build free markets.

“We are an ardent supporter of AGOA and we will make sure that it is renewed as this benefits both South Africa and US companies in Africa,” he said.

Eisner dismissed usual allegations of US’s increased involvement in Africa as motivated by Chinese influence and displacing US as a major player in the region.

“We are not in South Africa as response to Chinese influence; we encourage competition as it enhances social, economic and cultural changes.”

Eisner added that US corporations’ interest was to have local labour, adding that this should be done with right skills having a long term view on company sustainability.

The US Chamber of Commerce warned that uncertainty remains a major concern for US businesses intending to invest in South Africa especially due to policy direction.

Among others, Eisner cited the nationalisation rhetoric, new visa requirements, security bill and the newly revised BEE code as concerns for investors.

Eisner said money is increasingly becoming mobile and investors will put their money where they are welcome.

The US Chamber of Commerce said it intends to work with local organisations such as Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) to leverage its skills on policy matters. 


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/US firms actively involved in beneficiation - US ambassador