Newsflash: African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) Suspension of Duty Free Treatment and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) Update


In an effort to keep you up to date on the latest news regarding Trade Agreements that affect the importation of your product, here are a few articles we thought you might be interested in:

African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) Suspension of Duty Free Treatment

In an attempt to suspend the application of duty-free treatment to all AGOA-eligible goods in the agricultural sector for the Republic of South Africa, today, President Obama released an advance notification of the suspension. The suspension will go into effect 60 days from the date of this notification.

On the other hand, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies said on Friday that, while the “warning” was being taken “very seriously”, South Africa was “tantalisingly” close to resolving the final few issues, which included issues around salmonella and an exit clause for the agreements, that had resulted in the impending suspension of the duty-free treatment of its agricultural products.

Letter From The President — Suspension of the Application of Duty-Free Treatment to all AGOA-Eligible Goods

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

In accordance with sections 506A(d)(4)(C) and 506A(c) of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), I am providing 60-day advance notification of my intent to suspend the application of duty-free treatment to all AGOA-eligible goods in the agricultural sector for the Republic of South Africa 60 days after the date of this notification.

I am taking this step because South Africa continues to impose several longstanding barriers to U.S. trade, including barriers affecting certain U.S. agricultural exports, and thus I have determined that South Africa is not making continual progress toward the elimination of barriers to United States trade and investment as required by section 104 of AGOA.  I have determined that such suspension of benefits would be more effective in promoting compliance by South Africa with the eligibility requirements listed in section 104 of AGOA than the termination of South Africa’s designation as a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country, as it would better promote continuing efforts between the United States and South Africa to resolve these outstanding issues.  Although South Africa has to date failed to meet critical benchmarks required to address these issues, it continues to express an interest in resolving U.S. concerns.

I will continue to assess whether South Africa is making continual progress toward the elimination of barriers to United States trade and investment in accordance with AGOA eligibility requirements, as well as whether this suspension of benefits is effective in promoting compliance with those requirements.

Sincerely,

BARACK OBAMA

References:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/11/05/letter-president-suspension-application-duty-free-treatment-all-agoa

http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/s-africa-confident-of-agoa-suspension-reversal-by-year-end-2015-11-06

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) Update

The U.S. Trade Representative’s office released the full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal on November 5, 2015 which agreement was completed on October 5,2015. The 12 countries that are involved with the TPP trade agreement are: Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, U.S, Vietnam, Chile,Brunei, Singapore, New Zealand. This release will be reviewed by Congress for 90 days before President Obama can sign the agreement.

If you wish to view the full text, please click on the link below:

https://ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements/trans-pacific-partnership/TPP-Full-Text

 

Flegenheimer International

 

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