DA to request meeting with USA ambassador on AGOA agreement

Issued by Dean Macpherson MP – DA Shadow Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition
24 Feb 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Dean Macpherson MP. 

The DA is deeply concerned about resolution HR145 being brought before the United States House of Representatives in reaction to the ANC government’s implied alignment with Russian interests.

This is a result of the South African government’s decision to hold joint military exercises with the Russian Federation and its refusal to condemn Russia’s unjustified and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in the UN General Assembly.

The actions of the ANC are resulting in an increasingly tense relationship with the United States. This is confirmed by the Resolution calling on the Biden Administration to “conduct a thorough review of the current and future status of the United States-South Africa bilateral relationship …” The DA is concerned that this resolution may also place the benefits which South Africa receives from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) at risk.

AGOA provides duty and quota-free access to many products South Africa exports to the United States. In 2021, South African AGOA exports were valued at R2,7 billion. The agreement therefore serves as a significant boost to our local economy and a vital lifeline for many of our most vulnerable and developing industries. Worryingly, this resolution calls on the United States Government to provide Congress with a detailed account of the economic benefits South Africa derives from its inclusion in AGOA. This suggests that the United States Congress is considering the possible removal of the South Africa from the ambit of AGOA.

The DA will be requesting a meeting with the United States Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa to discuss the implications and likelihood of South Africa being removed from the AGOA agreement. We will also be seeking clarity on the actions we can take to help prevent South Africa from being excluded from the benefits of AGOA.

It is clear that the ANC is more concerned with maintaining good relations with Russia than doing what is in the best interests of the South African people and international relations generally. As a result, the DA will be doing everything in our power to prevent the further decimation of the South African economy at the hands of outdated ANC ideology.