South Africa on outstanding AGOA issues
SA confident outstanding AGOA issues will be resolved
South African government officials have been engaged with their US counterparts during the festive season to finalise all the outstanding technical issues to allow for safe imports of poultry, pork and beef products from the US, as a requirement for South Africa’s continued participation in AGOA Agriculture trade benefits.
Since the negotiations began South Africa has made significant progress on opening its market for the three US meats. This includes an agreement on a quota for bone-in-chicken pieces and a poultry trade protocol on Avian Flu. All matters that were on the table for conclusion by 11 November 2015 were concluded, only outstanding issues relate to issues brought to the negotiating table after the 11th November 2015.
During the past few weeks, pork health certificates have been negotiated and only requires signature by both sides.
Much progress has been made on beef with a few issues that can be finalised quickly.
On Salmonella too, a great deal of progress has been made on a side-letter with some technical issues still to be finalised.
While the 31st December deadline has passed, both sides are committed to continue the negotiations. South Africa believes that with some flexibility from both sides the final touches to the agreement on which 95 percent of the work has been done can be completed with some extra-time.