U.S., South Africa sign agreement to enhance trade, investmentPosted on Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 by Xinhua, Washington in News
U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and South Africa Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies signed the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) on Monday, which aimed to deepen the bilateral trade and investment relationship and provide a forum to address trade issues.
The agreement, which amended the previous one signed in 1999, “will not only help to increase and diversify trade between the U.S. and South Africa, but it will also provide for a regular dialogue on the full spectrum of trade and investment topics,” said Kirk.
Davies said he expected to sign the TIFA with the United States to promote trade between the two countries ahead of his trip to America a week earlier.
TIFA sets the groundwork for the involved countries to come to terms that allow all parties to trade with ease. A TIFA may also serve as a sort of peace treaty where disputes over import-export issues are resolved, which promotes an ongoing civil relationship. Now, the United States has such agreements in place with trade blocs in South America, Africa and Asia.
Total two-way trade between South Africa and the United States was at 22 billion U.S. dollars in 2011. America’s exports to South Africa grew to 7.3 billion in 2011, up 29.5 percent from 2010. Primary exports include machinery, vehicles, precious stones like gold, mineral fuel, and electrical machinery. U.S. imports from South Africa reached 9.5 billion dollars in 2011, a 15.7-percent increase from 2010. Primary imports include vehicles, machinery, iron, steel, platinum, diamonds, ores, slag, and ash.