TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

US poultry hits SA, AGOA resolved

Friday, 04 March 2016

Source: IAFRICA.com (South Africa)

South Africa will continue to receive trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) after 325 tons of US chicken hit South African supermarkets this week. US officials on Wednesday announced that the US chicken imports had already been distributed to South African supermarkets while US ambassador to South Africa, Patrick Gospard, said that the trade dispute over US chicken had been resolved and that South Africa had met the requirements to keep its AGOA trade benefits. "We are delighted by the announcement from USTR (US Trade Representative) Froman today and we welcome the arrival of American chicken into commerce in South Africa. The entry of US poultry into South Africa was required as a condition for avoiding South Africa’s suspension under AGOA," Gaspard was quoted as saying by ANA. "Now that the issues involving AGOA have been resolved, we are focused on developing a broader, stronger economic partnership with South Africa, and we believe that expanding trade and investment in both directions is the best way to do so. "DTI, DAFF, SARS, ITAC, and the US poultry industry are at the US Embassy this week working to develop new, black-owned businesses in trade. I met with this group of 31 entrepreneurs Tuesday and am excited to be part of the transformation of the South African economy,” Gaspard said. "Congratulations to everyone involved in the AGOA discussions on both sides of the Atlantic." US President Barack Obama is expected to announce the lifting of the suspension on some of South Africa's AGOA benefits this week. The row over the AGOA benefits started after South Africa imposed health restrictions on the import of US beef, poultry and pork. The US threatened to end the duty-free entry of SA citrus and wine products into the US if SA did not lift the restrictions. Following a meeting between SA and US officials late last year, the deadline to lift the restrictions was extended from January 4 to March 15 to allow for the logistics of getting the meat products into SA stores to be decided on.

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