US-SA Trade Relations and AGOA

  • Date: Tuesday, 24 January 2017
  • Time: 13h30-16h00
  • Venue: TIPS Boardroom, 234 Lange St, Nieuw Muckleneuk, Pretoria
  • Main Speakers: Faizel Ismail, Malose Letsoalo, Christopher Wood, Tinashe Kapuya
  • For enquiries or to register please contact:

Presentation and Panel Discussion:

Faizel Ismail – TIPS and UCT: AGOA - A Game of Chicken

Malose Letsoalo – Department of Trade and IndustrY

Christopher Wood – TIPS: Making the Best of AGOA through Export Promotion Policies

Tinashe Kapuya - Agricultural Business Chamber: An Agriculture Industry Perspective


The importance of exporting to the US for any developing country cannot be downplayed. Exports to the largest economy in the world along with various support measures has been of cruciall importance to countries such as Japan and South Korea during their industrialisation, more recently for China. The Africa Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) recognises the potential benefits of the US market and is a mechanism to encourage African economies to export into that market. While AGOA is a unilateral agreement by the US it gives benefits to the recipient countries and also is a means to encourage investment by US firms into Africa. The potential to support industrial development is therefore significant and is part of the motivation to extend AGOA by 10 years. Outside of the oil exporters, South Africa is the largest exporter through AGOA. South Africa exports value added products including automotive components and vehicles through AGOA. The recently adopted AGOA, however, specifically required a review of South Africa, mainly as a result of the requirement for poultry and pork imports from the US into the country. The poultry issue has been resolved and a number of compromises reached. The threat of the provisions of the Act that could exclude South Africa still remain. The benefits of South Africa being part of AGOA are applicable to both South Africa and the US,; it is therefore desirable on the side of both countries to find the compromises that would enable that.

The TIPS paper to be presented also forms part of a research project undertaken for NEDLAC.


Faizel Ismail: Dr Faizel Ismail is an Adjunct Professor at the UCT School of Economics and a TIPS Research Associate. He has previously been an advisor to the dti on International Trade and Special Envoy on the African Growth and Opportunity Act and served as the Ambassador Permanent Representative of South Africa to the WTO (2010-2014).

Malose Letsoalo: Malose is the Director of Americas Bilateral Trade Relations in the International Trade and Economic Development Division (ITED) of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti).

Christopher Wood: Chris is a TIPS economist focusing on trade and industry policy. He previously worked as a researcher in economic diplomacy at the South African Institute of International Affairs.

Tinashe Kapuya: Tinashe is the head of international trade and investment intelligence at the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz). 

Date:    Tuesday 24 January2017
Time:    13h30 – 16h00
Venue:  TIPS Boardroom, 234 Lange St, Nieuw Muckleneuk, Pretoria 

RSVP by email: to confirm attendance.