South Africa is spear heading the campaign for the renewal of the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA), a trade preference scheme that provides duty-free treatment to US imports of over 6000 products from eligible sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries.
In Washington, South Africa’s Trade and Industry Minister, Rob Davies said, “AGOA is the cornerstone of bilateral relations between the United States and Sub Saharan Africa, as it provides the sole platform between the US and SSA to discuss ways and means to deepen trade and investment relations. It is for this that South Africa together with [other] SSA countries has been calling for a 15-year renewal of AGOA for all eligible countries without any conditions.”
AGOA which came into force in 2000 under then US President George Bush, and after the US Congress approved a legislation establishing it, expires in September this year.
Davies averred that AGOA played a massive role in promoting bilateral trade and investment between the United States and Sub Saharan African countries. “The benefits of AGOA are bilateral and that is why it is important to renew the programme for all eligible countries with South Africa included as a beneficiary country,” he said.
“Our message is that AGOA has generated enormous goodwill for the US in the [African] continent and if renewed more can still be done,” Davies said.
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