South Africa has until March 15 to fully comply with the US over its meat imports, after US President Barack Obama on Monday ordered the suspension of duty-free treatment to all Agoa-eligible goods in the agricultural sector from South Africa, effective on that date.
Sources in the industry indicated to Fin24 that the suspension would only be implemented should South Africa not fully comply with the requirements.
The announcement comes after South Africa failed to meet the December 31 deadline set by Obama to finalise negotiations around US meat imports, failing which he said he would suspend certain duty free tariffs on goods that benefit from the African Growth Opportunity Act (Agoa).
The act, renewed by US lawmakers in June, eliminates import levies on more than 7 000 products ranging from textiles to manufactured items and benefits 39 sub-Saharan African nations.
“I have determined that South Africa is not meeting the requirements described in section 506A(a)(1) of the 1974 Act and that suspending the application of duty-free treatment to certain goods would be more effective in promoting compliance by South Africa with such requirements than terminating the designation of South Africa as a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country,” he said in a proclamation released on Monday.
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