Pretoria: South Africa and the United States have agreed to continue to work together to address concerns around the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) which is designed to help qualified sub-Saharan African countries economically.
These barriers relate to, among others, market access in South Africa for certain US products.
This agreement follows today’s conversation between Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and US Vice President Joe Biden who discussed the critical role that AGOA has played in expanding US and Africa trade.
Biden urged South Africa to address these issues as soon as possible.
He reiterated Washington’s interest in renewing AGOA as soon as possible, for as long as possible, in order to continue to encourage sustainable investment and robust economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa.
AGOA is a legislation that provides duty-free market access to the US for qualifying sub-Saharan African countries by extending preferences on more than 4 600 products.
It has created 100 000 jobs in the US and 350 000 direct jobs and 1.3 million indirect jobs in sub-Saharan Africa. In South Africa, AGOA is estimated to have created 62 000 jobs.
The current AGOA is set to expire on 30 September 2015.
It is for this reason that the South African delegation is in the US for the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) talks with the US Trade Representative to advocate the renewal of AGOA.
SOURCE: South African Official News