Cosatu wants govt. to review trade agreement with US

Cosatu believes trade relationship between SA and the US favours the latter.

FILE: Congress of South African Trade Unions’ Tony Ehrenreich in the middle. Picture: Siyabonga Sesant/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has called on government to review its trade relationship with the US after it threatened to revoke South Africa's trade benefits for farm exports.

The trade union federation plans to protest against the American government this week following the announcement.

President Barack Obama has given South Africa 60 days to meet the requirements of the African Growth and Opportunity Act or agricultural exports to the US will lose their duty-free status.

Washington is imposing barriers to beef, pork and poultry products.

Western Cape Cosatu provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich says the relationship appears to be one-sided.

"We want the government to completely review the relationships with the US in respect of trade. What we're seeing is that the development needs of our country are not being promoted by the kind of trade agreements we have with the US."

Ehrenreich says this could also affect labour.

"At the moment, the United States' trade agreement is going to have a huge impact on the job situation in South Africa and our ability to develop. We're calling on the US to completely review the stance that they've taken."