The US and South African government officials have settled the longstanding chicken trade dispute.
Government officials from the two countries met in Paris on 4 and 5 June to address outstanding agricultural trade issues related to South Africa’s AGOA (African Growth and Opportunity Act) eligibility.
According to reports, this is after the U.S tried to block South Africa from a lucrative trade agreement if it did not lift import duties on cheaper cuts of chicken.
South Africa further imposed "anti-dumping" tariffs since 2000 of above 100 per cent on certain products derived from the chicken carcass.
According to a statement, the two countries have now agreed on the framework to provide for renewed market access for US bone-in chicken into the South African market. The governments also agreed to a firm set of actions this month to resolve the remaining sanitary issues related to poultry, pork, and beef.
The framework provides for the return of exports to South Africa of US bone-in chicken after the two governments complete the necessary implementation steps. The South African government will implement the framework following a public consultation process.
While both sides recognise it may take some time for the South African government to complete its regulatory process, both sides are committed to expedite processes and resume shipments of US chicken as quickly as possible.
Both governments and industries have committed to further engagements on development issues that will enhance production in South Africa as well as participation of historically disadvantaged individuals into the poultry industry.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies stated that “The framework agreed by the two industries facilitates South Africa’s continued participation in AGOA and is a commendable effort by the poultry industry in the interest of the South African economy.”
The statement further added, "This agreement will allow the two governments to set a positive path forward for the countries’ trade and investment relationship building two-way US-South Africa trade, including under AGOA, and using tools such as the US-South Africa Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) to address the outstanding issues."