South Africa: More to Agoa Dispute Than Meets the Eye

More to Agoa Dispute Than Meets the EyeThere's more to the conflict over the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) than just the US poultry imports, according to Tutwa Consulting managing director Peter Draper.

Agoa is a US law that enhances market access to the US for qualifying sub-Saharan African countries including South Africa. The US is expected to suspend South Africa from Agoa after it missed a December 31 deadline to resolve a health-related dispute on meat imports. The suspension will hit the agricultural sector first.

Draper said South Africa could still avert the suspension by removing unnecessary health barriers to imports of US chicken and beef.

Draper, who is an expert in trade and investment policy, said while disagreement over US poultry imports was the proximate issue, behind it was a range of US government and business concerns about SA's respect for private property rights and associated protection of US business interests in SA.

Available: http://allafrica.com/stories/201601061133.html 

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South Africa's conduct of international relations, especially its role in international organisations like the UN Security Council, its choice of strategic partnerships, its leadership role in Africa, its public engagement and foreign policy decision making, has been intensely debated in the recent past. The FPA programme aims to provide a nuanced analysis and facilitate a structured discussion of South Africa's foreign policy in a changing world environment for purposes of informing its future direction.

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The purpose of this focus area is to unpack the extent to which the policy in its making, its nature and its application constitutes a principled and pragmatic response to a complex international environment. In doing so, we hope to be guided by an objective to promote a foreign policy that positions SA as a responsible global citizen committed to building bridges between various power blocs for the benefit of Africa and South Africans.

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