President Obama has informed the government of South Africa and the U.S. Congress that he intends to suspend benefits to South Africa agricultural products under the African Growth and Opportunity Act unless ongoing import barriers on beef, pork and poultry products are addressed.
U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said, “We are disappointed that South Africa has yet to resolve these issues. We do not take this decision lightly, and, in fact, have been working hard over many months – indeed years – to help South Africa avoid such action. Unfortunately, the issues persist. We have, however, seen some important engagement by South Africa in recent days and remain hopeful that it will meet the mutually agreed benchmarks relating to eliminating barriers to U.S. poultry, pork and beef to avoid a suspension of AGOA benefits.”
In 2014, South Africa exported $1.7 billion of goods to the United States under AGOA. The president plans to take action in 60 days unless changes are made by South Africa.