Agoa.info - African Growth and Opportunity Act
TRALAC - Trade Law Centre
You are here: Home/News/Article/Progress in talks on US-SA stalemate

Progress in talks on US-SA stalemate

Published date:
Wednesday, 16 September 2015
Author:
Simon Barber

Talks between US and SA veterinary officials in Pretoria over the removal of SA’s health-related import bans on US chicken, beef and pork made "some progress", the office of the US trade representative said in a terse statement on Tuesday.

The dispute, which is threatening SA’s duty-free access to the US market under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), is also being discussed in Washington this week in the context of the US-SA strategic dialogue, a structured round of bilateral meetings.

The SA delegation is led by International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, who will likely be asked to explain the mounting hostility to the US evinced in the African National Congress’s national general council discussion documents.

The US was represented in Monday’s talks by Eric Coleman and Mark Davidson from the US agriculture department’s animal and plant health inspection services veterinary office.

Trade officials teleconferenced in to the discussion to emphasise the political importance of resolving the differences.

"While some progress was made on poultry and beef, the US and South African officials will continue to address the outstanding issues," the statement said. "The US expects SA to follow international standards and base their import decisions on sound science."

SA agreed in June to lift prohibitive antidumping duties on a 65,000-tonne quota of US bone-in chicken portions, but has yet to implement the agreement.

In the meantime, SA is banning all imports of US poultry, citing fears of avian influenza contagion.

US beef remains excluded even though the Cabinet has reportedly deemed it safe, as do the cuts of pork US producers are most interested in exporting to SA.

Before this week’s meetings, US officials stepped up public warnings that unless the meat bans were lifted, key SA exports including cars, ferromanganese, citrus and wine could be denied duty-free access under Agoa to the US market.

The US poultry industry’s champions, senators Chris Coons and Johnny Isakson, wrote to President Jacob Zuma to remind him that "a review of SA’s eligibility under Agoa is presently under way".

 

Read related news articles

African trade coalition backs AGOA 16-year renewal bill to boost trade prospects

The African Coalition for Trade (ACT) has voiced its support for the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Renewal and Improvement Act of 2024 and credits the bill with creating hundreds of thousands of direct jobs in Africa and the US. The AGOA Renewal and Improvement Act of 2024 which was introduced by Senators Chris Coons and James Risch would extend the bill for 16 years until 2041 and continue to boost Africa’s duty-free status as...

18 April 2024

US apparel and footwear industry supports 16 year AGOA renewal

The American Apparel & Footwear Association applauds Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and Senator James Risch (R-ID) for introducing the AGOA Renewal and Improvement Act of 2024.Currently set to expire in September 2025, AGOA is a pivotal trade preference program that provides duty-free access to the U.S. market, fostering economic growth and opportunity between the U.S. and eligible African countries. This program is the cornerstone of...

11 April 2024

US senators will introduce bill to renew Africa trade pact through 2041 [Download copy]

A bipartisan group of senators will introduce a bill to renew the United States' trade pact with sub-Saharan Africa ahead of its expiration next year, an aide to one of the senators said on Thursday.  [    Download it here and download a summary here] The bill was introduced by Senators Chris Coons, a Democrat, and James Risch, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. A cross-party group of...

11 April 2024

US manufacturing subsidies for Africa could help revive AGOA

Experts at the Center for Global Development argue that the unconventional approach could bring billions in new trade opportunities and would fit with US “friend-shoring” efforts. The US should pay ‘negative tariffs’ in Africa – essentially targeted manufacturing subsidies – to help revive its faltering African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA),  according to a new report from the Washington-based Center for Global...

05 April 2024

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 and African civil society stakeholders seek AGOA extension

A Civil Society Organisation, Network and other stakeholders from across the United States and African Growth and Opportunity Act-eligible countries have petitioned the President of the United States of America, Joe Biden, to consider an extension of the initiative. The CSO made the plea in a letter dated February 16, 2024, titled ‘Petition for Timely Re-Authorisation and Enhancement of the African Growth and Opportunity Act Beyond...

16 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

House Ways and Means Committee leadership statement on meeting with ambassadors from select AGOA countries

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (MO-08) and Ranking Member Richard E. Neal (MA-01) released the following statement after hosting a bipartisan roundtable with Committee members and ambassadors from several African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) countries. AGOA is a U.S. trade program focused on strengthening economic ties between the United States and nations in Sub-Saharan Africa. “We appreciate the ambassadors from...

18 January 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

You are here: Home/News/Article/Progress in talks on US-SA stalemate