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Obama announces suspension of SA’s Agoa trade benefits

The US president has officially set a new deadline for American poultry to be allowed into the country.

US President Barack Obama delivers a speech during the plenary session at the COP 21 United Nations conference on climate change, on November 30, 2015 at Le Bourget, on the outskirts of the French capital Paris. More than 150 world leaders are meeting under heightened security, for the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11), also known as "Paris 2015" from November 30 to December 11. Picture: AFP.
Barack Obama,AGOA,South African Poultry Association,African Growth and Opportunities Act Agoa,American poultry
Local World Business

JOHANNESBURG – United States President Barack Obama has officially suspended South Africa's trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunities Act (Agoa) from 15 March, effectively setting a new deadline for American poultry to be allowed into the country.

The Agoa agreement was finalised by the Department of Trade and Industry last week and the South African Poultry Association says orders for imports have already been placed.

The association says the first orders are expected to arrive in South Africa within the next month.

The presidential proclamation was released by Obama's office yesterday, placing additional pressure on the state to lower health standards which were one of the main concerns during negotiations.

Head of the South African Poultry Association Kevin Lovell said, “There aren’t any more proper hurdles to overcome. In fact when our government published the guidelines on 18 December our market was officially open to US poultry. The difficulty the US has is that they wanted us to weaken our animal health standards and they’re now waiting to see.”

The Trade and Industry Department says it's not yet able to comment on the proclamation.

(Edited by Tamsin Wort)

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