THE AFRICA BAZAAR Staff Writer
January 7, 2016
South Africa and United States have finally ended their impasse over certain aspect of the AGOA benefits program relating to eliminating barriers to importation of U.S. agricultural products.
The U.S. Trade Representative office Thursday said the South Africa government has resolved the benchmark issues expressed by the U.S. and thus can continue receiving the AGOA benefits for agricultural products export to America.
U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman in a statement said teams on both sides worked closely together to reach a mutually beneficial agreement on eliminating antidumping tariffs on the importation of U.S. poultry, beef, and pork.
“We are pleased that South Africa and the United States reached agreement to resolve barriers to U.S. poultry, port and beef, said Mr. Froman. “This success was made possible because of South Africa’s constructive efforts over the last several months.”
Included in the new trade agreement is allocation to provide new business opportunities for “historically disadvantaged” poultry importers in South Africa to help advance their economic standard.
The U.S. said it will work with poultry producers to expedite the export of chickens to South Africa.
The resolution came after several months of deadlocked negotiations between the two countries over dispute of removing high duties on importation of U.S. poultry, which put U.S. producers at a competitive disadvantage.
In November, U.S. President Obama issued an executive order giving South Africa 60-day notice to resolve the issues or risk losing partial of the AGOA benefits it receives.
Froman added that the two countries will continue to work with poultry producers and importers from both side on ensuring that the final benchmark of entry of poultry is achieved so that South Africa can continue to retain the full AGOA benefits.
“Our goal is to complete this effort so that South Africa can maintain the full and continued enjoyment of AGOA’s benefits.”
While both sides are delighted the issues have been resolved, Froman cautioned that the success and true test of the new agreement “will be based on the ability of South African consumers to buy American product in local stores.”
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