Resolution in sight for US trade spat
SOUTH Africa and the US are close to concluding talks to solve a dispute over the importation of US meat products.
This emerged from the Office of the Presidency following a telephone conversation between President Jacob Zuma and his US counterpart Barack Obama. The leaders discussed several issues, including the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), a US trade act aimed at boosting trade with sub-Saharan countries.
The US earlier threatened to suspend duty-free access for all Agoa- eligible agricultural products from South Africa, such as wine, fruit juice and citrus fruits, accusing South Africa of blocking US meat products including poultry, beef and pork.
South Africa banned US poultry imports last December, after an outbreak of bird flu. But South Africa maintains that it has been making progress in implementing an agreement reached with the US in Paris in June.
South African Trade minister Rob Davies has said the prolonged process was a result of work by the two sides to set up necessary animal health protocols for the meat trade. – Xinhua