Welcome Guest | |
Submit Your Sourcing Requirement
Advanced Search Filtersdown arrow
left border  
left border  
Last Updated:[13-05-2009 02:00:13 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

The US-SACU Trade Deal Hits Roadblock

tradenews The Obama administration has categorically stated that they had no interest to move forward with the free trade negotiations with the five-member Southern African Custom Union (SACU) due to the failure of several rounds of talks. The SACU comprises of South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, and the negotiations with the US began in 2003. In 2006, the talks were suspended allegedly due to the US’ unrealistic demands that could not be implemented in the SACU states.

The US Trade Representative Ron Kirk revealed about the stalemate on the FTA at the sidelines of the inauguration ceremony of the Jacob Zuma presidency. However, he claimed there was still room for growth as South Africa was by far the largest beneficiary of trade under Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). He later added that it was possible to think of a new start with the new government at the helm since the US had very good foundation in South Africa with over 600 US business investments in various sectors.

Even though the central reason for the disinterest is not spelled out by the US authorities, the possibilities to this action seemed to be the same old ones. The old demand of the US particularly the intellectual property rights, and protectionist strategy could have checkmated the deal as of now.

South Africa is one of the SACU members that has largely benefitted by the Generalised System of Preferences that allows certain products to enter the US duty-free. South African clothing and selected textile products have duty-free access to the US market through the AGOA, an initiative of the Clinton administration.

According to the Department of Trade and Industry of South Africa, the US is the largest market for its merchandise. On the other hand, South Africa’s third largest imports are from the US.

South Africa’s trade analyst Peter Draper admitted that the US government’s move did not come as a surprise “for a number of reasons”. In his opinion, the failure to clinch FTA with the US is a huge blow to SACU.

By Jose Roy

What do you feel about this Trade News?
Feel free to write COMMENTS
*Your Email Address:
*Your Message:
Please refresh the screen if you
can't read the following text
*Enter above security code : 

Delicious.com Digg.com Facebook.com Google.com/bookmarks Yahoo! Bookmarks reddit.com