The Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and the United States (US) signed the Trade, Investment and Development Cooperation Agreement (TIDCA) in 2008. The objective of TIDCA is promoting an attractive investment climate and expanding and diversifying trade between SACU and the US. The TIDCA provides for a wide range of consultative forums and cooperation in areas including sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS), technical barriers to trade (TBT), customs cooperation and administration, trade facilitation and trade and investment promotion. Imani Development carried out a midterm review and technical study of certain priority sectors and their constraints within the TIDCA framework.

This report contributes to the TIDCA program in that it gives baseline analysis of areas of trade between SACU and the US; and identifies potential areas of cooperation under TIDCA. In preparing the report, the study has examined in detail the current exports of the individual SACU countries to the US. Where products have shown potential for development within SACU, the study has further examined the US market for given products and the potential for SACU countries to capture a share of that market. Key potential constraints, like SPS and TBT were examined.

Imani Development presented a detailed analysis of SACU-US trade, looking specifically at the sector composition of exports for SACU countries and their international export profile. This analysis informed the motivation for the priority sectors, namely:

  • Beef and the beef products.
  • The grape industry.
  • Citrus fruit and related food processing.
  • Fish and fish processing.
  • The automotive sector.
  • Small stock (within the beef and beef industry case study).
  • Tropical fruit (within the citrus fruit case study).

Imani carried out an analysis of the constraints with regards to SPS and TBT issues for each of the priority products. Imani experts underwent field visits and developed case studies in each member country of SACU.