South Africa, US resolve chicken import issues


8 June 2015

South Africa has agreed to resume the importing of chicken from the US, the Department of Trade and Industry has said.

“South Africa and the United States agreed on a framework to restore market access into the South African market for US bone-in chicken cuts,” the department said yesterday.

This follows a two-day meeting, on 4 and 5 June in Paris, France. The meeting was facilitated by the United States and South African governments with their respective industry associations, which resulted in a breakthrough after several months of industry to industry negotiations.

For some time South Africa has had in place an anti-dumping duty on chicken portions coming from the US.

The department said the agreement between the two countries would secure the continued participation of South Africa in the re-authorised 2015 Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) that was being extended by the US congress for a further 10 years.

Agoa provides duty-free market access to the US for qualifying sub-Saharan African countries by extending preferences on more than 4 600 products.

In the negotiations, the South African poultry industry was represented by the South African Poultry Association and the US industry represented by the National Chicken Council and United States of America Poultry and Egg Export Council.

The framework agreement follows enhanced engagement between the two parties towards resolution of concerns raised by the US regarding South Africa’s inclusion and continued participation in Agoa. It entails a rebate on the anti-dumping duty for a specified volume of US bone-in chicken cuts into the South African market.

“The South African government commits to facilitate the implementation of the framework agreed by the two industries after following due process,” said the department.

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, who was in Paris to attend the informal World Trade Organisation Ministerial meeting at the Organisation for Economic Co- operation and Development, met the poultry delegations and received feedback on the outcomes of the negotiations.

He commended the South African poultry industry for engaging positively in the negotiations in the interest of securing South Africa’s continued participation in Agoa.

“This is a clear demonstration of what can be achieved with strong partnership between government and industry in finding solutions that benefit the South African economy,” Davies said.

Furthermore, South African and US government officials discussed sanitary issues concerning agriculture trade. Progress has been achieved and technical work is on- going towards resolution of the issues.

The two governments agreed to use the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, which is a bilateral platform between the two countries, as an important mechanism to resolve bilateral issues. They also agreed to focus on enhancing trade and investment through identification of mutually beneficial issues and programmes of interest.