US confirms it’s not using Agoa as leverage over land expropriation
Trade and industry minister says the African Growth and Opportunity Act is not an issue for the US, who just want ‘legal and constitutional’ resolution to land reform
US officials have made no link between SA’s plan to expropriate land without compensation and the country’s access to trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), trade and industry minister Rob Davies said. One of the conditions for being eligible for Agoa, which favours 39 African nations by eliminating import levies on more than 7,000 products, is the protection of private property rights. Trade union Solidarity has warned that the ANC’s plan to change the constitution to allow expropriation without compensation, could jeopardise these benefits. Officials from Davies’s department and the US Embassy met three times between June and August to discuss trade and the impact of steel and aluminium tariffs on SA’s duty-free benefits under Agoa, the minister said in a written response to a lawmaker’s question.
"In the few instances where the US raised the land issue, the DTI provided an update and explained the transparent and responsible approach that will b...