Skip to main content

American meat goes on sale in SA

| Legislation

South Africa is allowing sales of American chicken, pork and beef products throughout the country, meeting benchmarks for resolving a 15-year trade dispute with the United States, Washington's top trade official said.

US Trade Representative Michael Froman said that if sustained, South African sales are a key step toward President Barack Obama lifting his threat of suspending South Africa's benefits under a US-Africa free trade deal.

The first shipments of US chicken cleared South African customs over the weekend under an agreement signed in January, Froman said. The deal could increase US poultry, beef and pork exports by $160 million a year, supporting tens of thousands of jobs in states such as Delaware and Georgia.

“We're comfortable that South Africa has met the agreed-upon benchmarks,” Froman told reporters on a conference call. “We're going to continue to monitor the situation as poultry, beef and pork make their way into the market. The president will make a determination on the revocation of his suspension order. We expect that decision to be forthcoming.”

South Africa had effectively prohibited imports of US chicken for about 15 years over various sanitary restrictions, and had raised concerns about a major outbreak of avian flu in the United States that killed nearly 50 million birds last year.

US officials had denied any health risks posed by American chicken and argued that South Africa's restrictions on US beef, pork and poultry imports violated terms of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, a free trade deal aimed at boosting African exports to the United States.

Obama had threatened to revoke the duty-free status of South Africa exports under AGOA on March 15 until the dispute was resolved.

South African officials had estimated that exclusion from AGOA would impose additional costs of up to $7 million on the $176 million in agricultural products it sold the United States in 2014, including oranges, macadamia nuts and wine.

“This is a great day for the chicken farmers of America,” said US Senator Chris Coons, a Delaware Democrat whose small state produces more than $4.6 billion worth of chicken per year, employing over 14 000 people.


Related Articles

Spar director fined R1 million after refusing n...

By: Brenda Masilela - IOL The Johannesburg Labour Court has fined Spar director R1 million after he refused on more than one occasion to reinstate a worker who was unfairly dismissed.

SARS wants to change VAT collection in South Af...

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has published a discussion paper on ways to modernise the VAT collection process.

Pick n Pay: Retailer must compensate Springbok ...

by Ahmed Areff – News24 Pick n Pay has been found liable by the Western Cape High Court for damages claimed by Maria Williams, wife of the late Springbok winger Chester Williams, who was injured after slipping and falling at one of its supermarkets.

Massive shake-up for shopping malls in South Af...

Over 2,000 shopping malls and retail centres in South Africa are in for a major shake-up as retail group Spar joins Pick n Pay and Shoprite in bringing an end to long-term exclusive lease agreements.

New rules for sharing content on WhatsApp, Face...

The Film and Publications Board (FPB) has published three new documents that serve as industry codes and guidelines on how to handle “harmful content” on various online platforms and peer-to-peer networks in South Africa.