Despite the trade war between the US and practically everywhere, led by US President Donald Trump, African trade with the US is growing sharply under America's African Growth and Opportunity Act, the 18th forum of which took place earlier in August in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire.
The 18th AGOA Forum that took place earlier in August was once again a reminder to business not only to make the most of AGOA, but also to start thinking beyond it.
South Africa, along with the majority of countries in sub-Saharan Africa, is able to export more than 6,000 types of products to the United States without paying US import tariffs. This is thanks to a preferential trade dispensation offered by the United States under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the US Generalised System of Preferences (GSP).
First instituted in 1976, the Generalised System of Preferences programme is designed to promote economic growth in developing countries by providing preferential duty-free treatment for over 3,500 types of products from designated beneficiary countries around the world. In Africa, those countries that qualify for Generalised System of Preferences are also eligible for additional preferences under AGOA.
The Generalised System of Preferences and AGOA combined...