TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Davies optimistic SA, US poultry producers will reach agreement

Friday, 10 April 2015 Published: | Linda Endsor

Source: Business Day (South Africa)

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies is optimistic that the current deadlock in the negotiations between South African and American poultry producers about the latter being granted greater access to the local market will be overcome.

A resolution to the impasse is vital to get the full backing of the US Congress for SA’s inclusion in the renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), a system of nonreciprocal preferences which provides duty-free access to a range of products from sub-Saharan countries into the US. The act expires at the end of September.

So far, the US poultry producers have rejected the offer made by the South African Poultry Association as being insufficient.

"I think we are making progress and are working to find a win-win solution," Mr Davies said at a media conference on Friday.

US poultry producers want SA to lift the antidumping duties on their chicken products which they say put them at a competitive disadvantage.

Mr Davies said the negotiations were about deciding what tonnage of US chicken would be free of antidumping duties.

Mr Davies will lead a delegation of senior government officials and business and labour representatives to Washington next week to participate in the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement Council meeting with the US trade representative. During the visit, they will be pushing for the renewal of Agoa, with SA included for a 15-year term.

Mr Davies said that the benefits of Agoa were two-way, having created an estimated 100,000 jobs in the US and 350,000 direct jobs and 1.3-million indirect jobs in sub-Saharan Africa. of which 62,000 were in SA.

Mr Davies said the poultry issue remained a challenge for both countries. "This is because of the peculiar nature of the market in the US. US consumers prefer the white meat (chicken breast) and tend to sell the brown meat (chicken legs) to other countries, such as SA," he said.

"The low price of the chicken legs, however, tends to undercut the local South African producers, reducing local production and jobs. Poultry has been identified as an important sector for further development in the Agriculture Policy Action Plan that was agreed to in Cabinet," said Mr Davies.

"The attitude of the South African government remains one of constructive engagement on all the concerns raised by the US constituencies," he said.

The government has left the two poultry associations to come to an agreement.

View related news articles

Will the US presidential elections impact South Africa’s economic recovery?

Will the US presidential elections impact South Africa’s economic recovery?

With over 6.29million recorded cases worldwide and over 380,00 deaths, its safe to say the COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the globe as we know it. Although Africa has, for the most part, managed to avoid an exponential spread of the disease, the overall recovery of the country and more specifically South Africa, hangs in the balance due to a number of...

27 July, 2020
'South Africa must get ready for an inevitable loosening of trade ties with the US'

'South Africa must get ready for an inevitable loosening of trade ties with the US'

In six months’ time the world’s gaze will be trained on what is gearing up to be a contentious and hotly contested presidential election in the US. Irrespective of who emerges victorious between the incumbent President Donald Trump and the Democratic nominee Joe Biden South Africa needs to start thinking about what it stands to lose – or gain – from the new...

02 June, 2020
Former US negotiator: US-Kenya deal could spur regional value chains

Former US negotiator: US-Kenya deal could spur regional value chains

A trade deal with the U.S. could help both Kenya and its neighbors in the East African Community by fostering the development of regional value chains, a former U.S. trade official tells Inside U.S. Trade. “I think it’d be really fascinating as we go forward with this U.S.-Kenya FTA to see what’s going to be possible not just for Kenya but for other African countries...

10 February, 2020
South Africa GSP country review hearings: programme and witness list

South Africa GSP country review hearings: programme and witness list

EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OFFICE OF THE U.S. TRADE REPRESENTATIVE PUBLIC COUNTRY PRACTICE HEARING U.S. GENERALIZED SYSTEM OF PREFERENCES (GSP) Held at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative 1724 F Street, N.W. Washington D.C., Rooms 1 and 2 January 31, 2020 Program and Witness List - Final Welcome and Introduction 10:00 am Ms. Laura Buffo, Deputy Assistant...

29 January, 2020
South Africa will caution Trump on ‘premature’ trade review

South Africa will caution Trump on ‘premature’ trade review

South Africa’s government will tell President Donald Trump’s administration that its review of a preferential trade agreement that could put as much as $2.4 billion in exports at risk is premature and potentially damaging for both economies. The U.S. Trade Representative will start public hearings on Thursday [see submissions and hearing schedule here] to...

29 January, 2020