SA, US AGOA negotiations continues

Pretoria – Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies says negotiations are still ongoing between South Africa and the United States to address outstanding issues on African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) processes.

This is with regard to resolving the dispute between South Africa and United States on the importation of chicken, beef and pork products from United States into South Africa, and South African agricultural goods into the United States.

The Minister Briefed the media in Pretoria on Monday and said no conclusions have yet been made and negotiators have been granted an extra-time as the deadline was today.

South Africa had raised health and safety concerns over the livestock and quality of the products imported and had until the end of last month to reach an agreement to open the market.

US President Barack Obama had also issued a notice last year regarding withdrawing duty-free treatment for South Africa’s agricultural exports under the AGOA if South Africa does not resolve the US’ concerns.

Minister Davis said considerable progress has been recorded by both South Africa and the United States on concluding outstanding issues.

He said what is outstanding at the moment are administration quota and issues of animal and human health.

“We are committed to continue to work and find a solution that, in our point of view, would allow us to honour the commitment what we made in Paris on poultry, as well as the commitment we have already made on beef and pork,” said Minister Davies.

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