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Dti 'working' to get US poultry on shelves

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Cape Town – The suspension of South Africa’s agriculture benefits from Agoa on March 15 will be lifted as soon as the first shipment of poultry enters the SA market, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (dti).

US President Barack Obama on Monday ordered the suspension of duty-free treatment to all Agoa-eligible goods in the agricultural sector from South Africa, effective on March 15.

Obama was expected to make this announcement last Tuesday, after South Africa failed to meet a previous 60-day deadline set by him to finalise negotiations around US meat imports, failing which he said he would suspend certain duty free tariffs on goods that benefit from the African Growth Opportunity Act (Agoa).

The act, renewed by US lawmakers in June, eliminates import levies on more than 7 000 products ranging from textiles to manufactured items and benefits 39 sub-Saharan African nations.

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