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South Africa To Secure US AGAO Trade Benefits

by Lorys Charalambous, Tax-News.com, Cyprus

04 March 2016


The threat of a suspension, from March 15, 2016, of South Africa's import duty exemptions for its agricultural goods under the US African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) has been lifted, following the recent customs clearance of the first shipment of American poultry product at the Port of Durban.

AGOA allows almost all goods produced in AGOA-eligible countries to enter the US market duty-free. On November 5, 2015, President Barack Obama had given notice that, unless South African non-tariff barriers to US poultry, pork, and beef were removed, he intended to suspend South Africa's eligibility for AGOA agricultural goods duty relief from January 4, 2016.

Although an agreement was reached on the elimination of those barriers in January, the threatened suspension date was subsequently extended to March 15 as the United States needed proof that American agricultural products were actually able to be imported, before confirming that South Africa would continue to have the advantage of full AGOA benefits.

"Both the United States and South Africa have achieved significant wins," said US Trade Representative Michael Froman. "American farmers have access to an important market from which many have been shut out for more than a decade. … We have also strengthened our relationship with South Africa; proving that we can work together to resolve longstanding issues."

TAGS: South Africa | law | tariffs | trade treaty | agreements | trade disputes | United States | import duty | trade | Africa

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