The road to US duy-free access could be longer than expected for a series of emerging countries. While Pakistan was recently refused that textiles and apparel benefit from preferential treatment, chances of duty-free access for Bangladesh, Sri Lanka or Cambodia are progressively fading.
The US will look for other ways to kick-start investment in southern Africa.
Interview with Deputy US Trade Representative Karan Bhatia.
The US government and the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) have failed to reach consensus regarding the establishment of a free trade agreement. Unrealistic demands by the US government are said to be at the centre of the failed talks.
The United States hopes to agree a road-map with southern Africa on reaching a trade pact this week but will not budge on key issues that have previously stalled talks, a top official said on Monday.
South Africa has urged the United States to be more flexible in negotiations towards a free-trade pact with southern Africa, warning that current talks may fail to secure a deal.
Statement of the US-SACU FTA Working Group
Southern African Development Community (SADC) hopes to start trade talks with China and India at the forthcoming SADC Council of Ministers Consultative Conference in Windhoek, Namibia next month.
The South African Customs Union is in talks with the Indian government for signing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to enhance the trade and business between both the countries.
Trade experts say the United States is demanding far deeper market access than South Africa is willing to give, particularly in the area of services that are covered by regulatory protection rather than tariffs.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-CA) this week said the U.S. should drop partners in free trade agreement negotiations if talks on those agreements are not progressing.
Trade talks appear to have picked up pace in the latter part of the year. SA has another free-trade deal in the bag and talks with the US are scheduled to resume after a year-long stall.
Botswana’s Ministry of Trade and Industry will host a meeting of the Southern African Customs Union and United States (SACU/US) Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations this week in Gaborone.
Negotiations for a free trade agreement between the US and the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) stalled last year in an atmosphere of impasse rather than acrimony. But on the explicit instruction of President Thabo Mbeki, the talks are now on again and new, ambitious targets have been set for their completion, as well as a new plan for getting past the problems that plagued the last effort.
The US and the five-member Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) will meet in the second half of September to kick-start trade negotiations that ground to a halt late last year after the two regions failed to reach consensus on a range of key issues.
Japan and South Africa agreed Thursday to form a study group to examine the feasibility of striking a bilateral free-trade agreement. Japan will proceed with South African FTA talks with an eye to eventually concluding a free-trade pact with the entire SACU.
The year-long deadlock in free-trade negotiations between the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) and the US appears to have been broken with talks set to resume in September.
The issue of trade visas, transfer pricing of goods and the long outstanding issue of the Bilateral Investment Agreement between Namibia and Angola are some of the challenges facing businesses in the country.
Talks were scheduled to restart this week between deputy trade ministers of South Africa and the United States regarding a free trade agreement (FTA) between the US and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU). These have now been cancelled and no new date set.
Singapore and South Africa have agreed to begin free trade talks later this year, as the wealthy city-state seeks to expand its economic access to African states.