South Africa's agriculture minister said on Friday he was surprised that the United States planned to revoke duty-free status for South African agricultural goods in 60 days under a program set up to help African exporters.

"I am surprised because our veterinarians were meeting with the Americans last week," Agriculture Minister Senzeni Zokwana said on ENCA television. "They exchanged information. We are waiting for the Americans to respond to the suggestions we have made."