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White House US says South Africa meet benchmarks for trade deal benefits

Obama had threatened to revoke on Tuesday the duty-free status of South African exports under the African Growth and Opportunity Act in retaliation for South Africa's restrictions on U.S. beef, pork and poultry imports.

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U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the Chief of Missions Conference at the State Department in Washington March 14, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque play U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the Chief of Missions Conference at the State Department in Washington March 14, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (Reuters)

U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday issued a proclamation revoking the impending suspension of South Africa's benefits under a U.S.-Africa free trade deal, the White House said.

Obama had threatened to revoke on Tuesday the duty-free status of South African exports under the African Growth and Opportunity Act in retaliation for South Africa's restrictions on U.S. beef, pork and poultry imports.

"The United States welcomes the significant steps undertaken by the Government of South Africa over the past several weeks to restore market access for U.S. poultry, pork, and beef products," the White House said in a statement.

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