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The AGOA Summit – Planned for SA in November

Hardly has the dust settled from the BRICS Summit (see above) when SA gears up to host this year’s summit on AGOA (African Growth and Opportunity Act) with the other Africa States and the USA. At the meeting of US/African Heads of State earlier this year, there was a call for AGOA to be renewed this year, rather than waiting until 2025. As we reported in May, not all African states benefit from AGOA, a few have excluded themselves – and some have been excluded, usually because they are run by a military government. A number of US politicians have proposed that SA also be excluded for its alleged role in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. SA was the continent’s largest beneficiary of AGOA in 2022, with exports of R178bn ($9.35bn) worth of goods to the US, while imports amounted to R134bn ($7.04bn). SA has accounted for 99% of the African automotive sector’s exports to the US since AGOA’s inception.

Readers will recall that some African states have been hedging their bets on AGOA. The US is being non-committal about when negotiations for a free trade deal with Kenya will be concluded despite Nairobi earlier saying the talks would be finalised by December. The proposed trade deal, which does not have clauses on tariffs, is expected to shield Kenya in the event that the US Congress chooses not to renew AGOA. The US Trade Representative has indicated that its negotiators do not yet have a deadline for signing the proposed US-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership (STIP).

Alastair Tempest

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