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South Africa

South Africa Flag

AGOA Status: South Africa is eligible for AGOA this year. It also qualifies for textile and apparel benefits.

Trade Agreements: The U.S. and South Africa signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) in 2012, which amends the United States-South Africa TIFA originally signed in 1999. 

In addition, the U.S. and the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU), which includes South Africa, signed a Trade, Investment, and Development Cooperative Agreement (TIDCA) in 2008. The TIDCA establishes a forum for consultative discussions, cooperative work, and possible agreements on a wide range of trade issues, with a special focus on customs and trade facilitation, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures, and trade and investment promotion.

U.S.-South Africa Trade Facts

U.S. goods and services trade with South Africa totaled an estimated $17.5 billion in 2015. Exports were $8.4 billion; imports were $9.1 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade deficit with South Africa was $640 million in 2015.

South Africa is currently our 39th largest goods trading partner with $13 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2015. Goods exports totaled $5.5 billion; goods imports totaled $7.3 billion. The U.S. goods trade deficit with South Africa was $1.9 billion in 2015.

Trade in services with South Africa (exports and imports) totaled an estimated $4.7 billion in 2015. Services exports were $3.0 billion; services imports were $1.7 billion. The U.S. services trade surplus with South Africa was $1.2 billion in 2015.

According to the Department of Commerce, U.S. exports of Goods and Services to South Africa supported an estimated 50 thousand jobs in 2014 (latest data available) (30 thousand supported by goods exports and nearly 19 thousand supported by services exports).

Exports

South Africa was the United States' 41st largest goods export market in 2015.

U.S. goods exports to South Africa in 2015 were $5.5 billion, down 14% ($911 million) from 2014 but up 40% from 2005. 

The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2015 were: machinery ($1.2 billion), vehicles ($651 million), electrical machinery ($450 million), aircraft ($342 million), and optical and medical instruments ($324 million).

U.S. exports of agricultural products to South Africa totaled $211 million in 2015. Leading categories include: tree nuts ($22 million), planting seeds ($19 million), prepared food ($15 million), dairy products ($13 million), and feeds & fodders  ($12 million).

U.S. exports of services to South Africa were an estimated $3.0 billion in 2015, 2.2% ($68 million) less than 2014, but 85.3% greater than 2005 levels.  Based on 2014, leading services exports from the U.S. to South Africa were in the intellectual property (computer software ), travel, and transportation sectors.

Imports

South Africa was the United States' 36th largest supplier of goods imports in 2015.

U.S. goods imports from South Africa totaled $7.3 billion in 2015, down 12% ($983 million) from 2014, but up 25% from 2005. 

The top import categories (2-digit HS) in 2015 were: precious metal and stone (platinum, diamonds) ($2.4 billion), vehicles ($1.5 billion), iron and steel ($615 million), machinery ($538 million), and ores, slag, and ash (titanium) ($340 million).

U.S. imports of agricultural products from South Africa totaled $281 million in 2015. Leading categories include: tree nuts ($65 million), other fresh fruit ($63 million), wine and beer ($52 million), processed fruit & vegetables ($27 million), and planting seeds ($11 million).

U.S. imports of services from South Africa were an estimated $1.7 billion in 2015, 0.3% ($6 million) less than 2014, but 72.3% greater than 2005 levels.  Based on 2014, leading services imports from South Africa to the U.S. were in the travel, transportation, and professional and management services sectors.

Trade Balance

The U.S. goods trade deficit with South Africa was $1.9 billion in 2015, a 3.7% decrease ($72 million) over 2014.

The United States has a services trade surplus of an estimated $1.2 billion with South Africa in 2015, down 4.8% from 2014.

Investment

U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in South Africa (stock) was $6.2 billion in 2014 (latest data available), a 3.1% decrease from 2013. U.S. direct investment in South Africa is led by manufacturing, wholesale trade, and prof., scientific, and tech. services.

South Africa's FDI in the United States (stock) was $765 million in 2014 (latest data available), down 13.1% from 2013. South Africa's direct investment in the U.S. is led by depository institutions, finance/insurance, and manufacturing.

Sales of services in South Africa by majority U.S.-owned affiliates were $6.9 billion in 2013 (latest data available), while sales of services in the United States by majority South Africa-owned firms were $242 million.