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Sacu Trade Agreement

Achieving this growth requires planning and innovation on the part of the countries concerned. It is reasonable to expect this to include the promotion of free trade agreements. To this end: China is a leading player in the Belt and Road Initiative, Brazil with its influence and its membership in Mercosur is leader in the South American region, Russia has a similar role in the development of the Eurasian Economic Union, India has a leading role in the South Asia Free Trade Area (SAFTA), while South Africa is an important strategic partner in the South African Customs Union (SACU). In December 2000, MERCOSUR countries (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) signed a framework agreement establishing a free trade area between MERCOSUR and South Africa. This framework agreement has set up a negotiating committee for the establishment of a free trade agreement. The Southern African Customs Union (SACU) consists of South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland. It was founded in 1910, making it the oldest customs union in the world. The SACU agreement was revised in 1969 and 2002. On 16 December 2002, the Inter-Institutional Staff Committee for Trade Policy, chaired by the USTR, held a hearing to obtain public comments on the negotiating positions of the proposed agreement. Several groups representing retailers, grocers and metal importers supported the reduction of U.S. tariffs on SACU products that would result from a free trade agreement. Other representatives from the service and recycled clothing sectors supported negotiations to remove tariff and non-tariff barriers in the SACU market. However, other groups have refused to further open U.S.

markets to SACU products or have requested exemptions for their products. These include California peach and apricot producers and processors, the American Sugar Alliance, rubber shoe manufacturers, and manufacturers of silicon and manganese aluminum bricks. The first round of negotiations on the SACU Free Trade Agreement began on 3 June 2003 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Initially, negotiations were to be completed by December 2004, but the deadline was extended to the end of 2006, after negotiations ended at the end of 2004 and the resumption at the end of 2005. Discussions were slow until April 2006, representatives of the United States and SACU decided to suspend the negotiations and begin a long-term joint work programme. On 16 July 2008, USTR Susan Schwab signed an agreement on Trade, Investment and Development Cooperation (TIDCA) with SACU trade ministers. This has had an impact on trade between China and Africa. While the region is volatile and subject to currency fluctuations and regional disputes, China is now Africa`s largest trading partner. In 2018, bilateral trade reached $200 billion, with an upward trend. The following graph, courtesy of the China Africa Research Initiative, based on data from the Chinese Ministry of Customs, also includes North Africa and shows this trade balance. According to the Chinese Embassy in Namibia, the volume of bilateral trade between Namibia and China exceeded $800 million in 2018, a 45% increase over the previous year – more than double the growth rate of total trade with Africa. China`s main exports to Namibia include mechanical and electrical equipment, clothing, footwear, equipment, tourism and other daily needs, while its main imports from Namibia include mineral and marine products, hides, live ostriches and relevant products.

As a customs union, members introduce a common external tariff with third countries and do not impose tariffs on trade between them. The trade agreement between the South African Customs Union (SACU) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is a free trade agreement signed in 2006 and entered into force on 1 May 2008.

Dr. Avery Jenkins

Dr. Avery Jenkins is a chiropractic primary care physician in Litchfield, CT. He is board certified in clinical nutrition and acupuncture, and is a frequent speaker and lecturer. He provides drug testing services for employers, courts, and attorneys state-wide.

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