APA-Pretoria (South Africa) President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for the extension of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) by another decade, saying the trade agreement is mutually beneficial to both South Africa and the United States.
Addressing the US-South Africa trade and investment business roundtable meeting on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York on Monday, Ramaphosa noted that relations between Pretoria and Washington were solid, with hundreds of US companies operating in the southern African country.
“As a participant, we are seeing AGOA as mutually beneficial – not only for South Africa but also for the US,” Ramaphosa said.
He added: “Through AGOA, jobs are either sustained or created in the US as they are in South Africa. It may not be in equal numbers, but we see this trade agreement as being an important one.”
He was, therefore, looking forward to the extension of AGOA to the current African beneficiary countries “for another 10 years and, thereafter, we can see what happens.”
“Noting that the AGOA summit would be held in South Africa in November this year, it is important for us…to consolidate the presence of US companies in the country,” Ramaphosa said.
Created in 2000, AGOA is a US government trade programme that gives selected sub-Saharan African countries preferential access to US markets, allowing them to export products to the US tariff-free.
AGOA was last renewed in 2015 and is set to expire in 2025.