Under the so-called SADC EPA, the EU has eliminated some or all tariffs on 98.7% of imports from South Africa, while guaranteeing full access for other signatory countries. Today, the EU remains South Africa`s largest trade and investment partner. What complicates the negotiations is that Africa was already divided into eight separate free trade areas and/or customs unions, with different rules. [Note 1] These regional forums will continue to exist; The African Continental Free Trade Agreement aims, first, to remove barriers to trade between the various pillars of the African Economic Community and, finally, to use these regional organizations as building blocks of the ultimate goal of an Africa-wide customs union.     After nearly three years of slow and stalled negotiations, U.S. and SACU trade officials cancelled negotiations for a free trade agreement in April 2006 in favor of a longer-term trade and investment work plan. On 16 July 2008, they signed an Agreement on Trade, Investment and Development Cooperation (TIDCA), the first of its kind. According to reports, the TIDCA is a formal mechanism for the United States and SACU to negotiate preliminary trade agreements that may constitute building blocks of a future free trade agreement. The agreement will also allow both sides to work on key issues in their trade, such as trade facilitation, technical barriers, investment promotion, and sanitary and phytosanitary standards12 “U.S. Signs Commercial Pact with SACU, Says Free Trade Agreement Still Possible”, BNA, 17 July 2008. Following the denunciation of most bilateral investment agreements with EU countries, South Africa passed an Investment Protection Act in 2015. Established in 2015, the EU Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Southern Africa offers a coherent approach to issues of interest to European companies investing in the region. Describes the bilateral and multilateral trade agreements in which this country participates, including with the United States.
Contains websites and other resources for U.S. companies to get more information about how they can use these agreements. . . .