South Africa's eligibility for AGOA benefits to be reviewed
The Senate finance committee on Wednesday night voted to require the Obama administration to launch a review of SA’s eligibility for trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) within 30 days of the Act being renewed.
Legislation to renew Agoa for 10 years introduced last week by senator Orrin Hatch, the Utah Republican who chairs the committee, had left such a review to the administration’s discretion.
On a voice vote, the committee accepted an amendment by senator Jonny Isakson to make the review mandatory. The Georgia Republican, with senator Chris Coons, Democrat of Delaware, has been championing the US chicken industry complaints about South African anti-dumping duties.
"SA is the largest beneficiary of Agoa and should be the most co-operative with Agoa," Mr Isakson said.
He said his amendment would hold SA "accountable for its trade policies" and had the support of the US trade representative Michael Forman and the Obama administration.
The bill now goes to the full Senate.