Mulder said that, at the moment, there were more agricultural imports from the US to SA, than exports to the US. This was the main reason for the meeting.
According to Mulder, SA agreed to increase bilateral trade by resolving outstanding sanitary and phytosanitary issues for plant and animal products.
“South Africa has been negotiating with the Veterinary Authority of the US regarding veterinary certification on certain products,” said Mulder, adding that, because of foot-and-mouth disease in SA, meat exports to the US had stopped.
Mulder said agriculture, forestry and fisheries products made up 45% of all SA imports from the US. The top five products are wheat (18%), food preparations (57%), whiskey (5%) and chemical wood pulp (4%).
SA’s biggest exports to the US are wine, macadamia nuts and oranges.
Harden said an improved relationship would benefit both countries.