By Vicki Needham - 06/18/12 08:18 PM EDT
“It will not only help to increase and diversify trade between the U.S. and South Africa, but it will also provide for a regular dialogue on the full spectrum of trade and investment topics," he said.
Two-way trade between South Africa and the United States was valued at $22 billion last year, according to USTR.
U.S. exports to South Africa grew to $7.3 billion last year, up 29.5 percent from 2010. Primary exports include machinery, vehicles, precious stones (gold), mineral fuel and electrical machinery.
U.S. imports from South Africa reached $9.5 billion in 2011, a 15.7 percent increase from 2010. Leading imports include vehicles, machinery, iron, steel, platinum, diamonds, ores, slag and ash.
Last year, $4.6 billion of U.S. imports from South Africa entered duty-free under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), an increase from $1.5 billion in 2010.
The primary goods imported under AGOA were mineral fuel, machinery, vehicles and parts, iron and steel and fruits and vegetables.
Under the updated agreement, the United States-South Africa Council on Trade and Investment will meet annually.