US orders South Africa to remove barriers to US meat exportsStaff writer ▼ | November 11, 2015
The US has given South Africa 60 days to remove barriers to US meat exports. Failure to do so could result in South Africa losing African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) benefits for agricultural products.
Export barriers The US has given South Africa 60 days
There are many takes on why the US is threatening to withdraw African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) benefits for South African agricultural produce.
These range from discontent over South Africa’s involvement with Russia and China through its relationship with BRIC countries to unhappiness over South Africa’s plan to cap foreign ownership in security companies.
Kevin Lovell, CEO of the South African Poultry Association, however thinks that the real reason for this out-of-cycle review is that the US is using AGOA to negotiate better market access for its poultry, pork and beef.
Lovell pointed out that there’s been a clash between the countries since South Africa’s AGOA status came up for review earlier this year.
South Africa wanted a longer period before its next renewal, while the US wanted initially to ‘graduate’ South Africa from AGOA and to renew AGOA for a shorter period. The US also from the start threatened that South Africa might lose its benefits, if it didn’t remove anti-dumping duties on US poultry.
These duties were initiated on bone-in chicken portions that were often exported to South Africa at prices that undercut South African prices. The anti-dumping duties resulted in the US paying a 9.40 Rand per kilogram anti-dumping duty as well as a 37 per cent normal import duty on bone-in chicken.
At first, the US demanded to export 125,000 tons of brown meat to South Africa duty-free. South African producers initially agreed to accept 45,000 tons, but the two parties later agreed on 65,000 tons. ■