The Trade and Investment Hub, joined by the U.S. Embassy, the U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), USAID, the South Africa Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and TRALAC (Trade Law Center), contributed to a successful African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) forum and networking event organized by WESGRO, the provincial tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for the Western Cape, in Cape Town, South Africa.
WESGRO CEO Tim Harris opened the noteworthy event attended by over 80 representatives from Western Cape businesses, exporters, local government, and civil society. Harris commented on the significance of trade relations between the U.S. and South Africa and the extremely positive working relationship cultivated by U.S. Consulate/Cape Town, Consul General Virginia Blaser, and WESGRO’s leadership.
Seeking to promote the advantages of AGOA and expand access, the Trade and Investment Hub provided practical guidance on how best to utilize AGOA, critical export criteria, and leading opportunities for South African companies in the apparel, accessories, leather goods, specialty foods, and agriculture sectors. Eckart Naumann, TRALAC Associate and USAID-partner, delivered an overview of AGOA’s history, product coverage, rules-of-origin, opportunities, and trade data between the U.S. and South Africa.
From the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria, Juan Cammarano provided insight on AGOA from a U.S. trade policy perspective (including addressing the future of AGOA), while Jeromy McKim from APHIS presented on agricultural product sanitary and phytosanitary standards (SPS) required to enter the U.S.
The Hub plans to continue to work closely with WESGRO to develop an MOU between the two organizations, undertake AGOA outreach and export promotion, and coordinate U.S. buyer missions and international trade fair participation.