South Africa awaits U.S. AGOA negotiation results
South Africa is now in "extra time" as negotiations continue with the U.S. to try and keep duty relief for exports including many fruit crops, News24wire.com reported.
The U.S. Government announced in November it would suspend the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), much to the ire of the South African citrus industry.
If the act is scrapped, it would also have impacts on the country's macadamia nuts, avocados and canned fruit.
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies told a press conference in Pretoria the possible suspension could have huge effects for the agricultural industry.
"The first set of exclusions will be on agricultural products, but we have been told that it can be reversed if we reach an agreement," Davies was quoted as saying.
"It is our priority to conclude this process without any risk of uncertainty."
Another meeting is due to take place today (Jan. 6), Davies told reporters.
The AGOA was an initiative of the Clinton administration and came into effect in 2000, with the condition that African partners must also facilitate trade for U.S. products; a key sticking point now is conditions for U.S. poultry exports to South Africa.