Wednesday, June 12, 2024

South Africa: Govt In Last-Ditch Effort to Save Agoa Benefits

Cape Town — South Africa is making a last-ditch attempt to retain preferential trade benefits with the U.S. under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), reports News24.

A delegation led by Minister of Trade, Industry, and Competition Ebrahim Patel and Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana has gone to Washington, DC for discussions with U.S. officials.

Earlier this year, South Africa found itself in hot water when U.S. Democratic Party and Republican Party legislators called for the Agoa meeting that will be hosted by South Africa later this year be moved. They accused South Africa of supporting Russia in its war against the Ukraine. Aside from Russia participating in naval drills in South African waters, South Africa has also been accused of supplying arms to Russia for the war. They also said this could lead to South Africa losing its Agoa benefits.

With Agoa, South Africa is allowed duty-free trade on the first 25% of its goods exported to the U.S. The loss of Agoa benefits would negatively impact South Africa’s agricultural and manufacturing sectors, particularly the automotive industry.

Some South African government officials and politicians have made critical comments about the U.S. and expressed support for Russia, leading to doubts about South Africa’s non-aligned stance.

The final decision on Agoa eligibility lies with the U.S. Congress.


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