The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) on Wednesday raised a red flag over the delay in resolving the impasse between South Africa and the US on the issues surrounding the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa).
South Africa’s future in respect of Agoa was currently hanging in the balance, with jobs and billions of rands at risk, as the US mulls whether to move forward on its promise of shutting the country out of some of the duty-free trade benefits of the trade agreement.
This emerged shortly after the country failed to meet the US-stipulated deadline to meet the demands of the Western powerhouse to eliminate the barriers to US poultry, beef and pork trade with South Africa.
“While we appreciate the need for South African health authorities to control and manage the standards of health around what is being imported into the country, we urge all parties involved in the impasse to do everything reasonably possible to resolve all outstanding issues so that this does not negatively affect trade relations between South Africa and the US,” Sacci said in a statement.
It added that it trusted all parties to resolve outstanding issues to the mutual benefit of both countries, as the exclusion of specified agricultural products would spread from the immediate impact to the agricultural sector and would affect overall trade in South Africa negatively.