U.S. Says `Tremendous Progress' Made on South Africa Trade Talks

  • South Africa seeking to retain trade benefits under AGOA
  • Health authorities from both countries held talks on Wednesday

South Africa and the U.S. made “tremendous progress” on talks to resolve a trade dispute between the two nations, U.S. Ambassador to South Africa Patrick Gaspard said.

“Thanks to the leadership” of South Africa’s trade and agriculture departments, Gaspard said in a post on Twitter late on Wednesday. “Looking forward to the first shipment of chickens.”

South Africa has been under pressure to reach agreement with the U.S. to open its market to American chicken and beef products in order to retain preferential trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. Health authorities from the two nations met on Wednesday to reach a deal before the U.S. cancels South Africa’s duty-free access on farming goods.

South African Trade Minister Rob Davies is scheduled to brief reporters about the outcome of the negotiations at 3 p.m. local time on Thursday, his spokesman Sidwell Medupe said by phone.

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