Cape Town – The Economic Freedom Fighters have slammed the “spineless” South African government to bowing into the trade demands of the United States.
The party’s spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said yesterday [Friday] that government had “finally capitulated to American threats and demands that US poultry, pork, and beef products must be dumped in South Africa”.
He said this was despite the fact that absolutely nothing had been done to address the health concerns such as salmonella.
On Thursday Ministers of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies; Health, Aaron Motsoaledi and Environmental Affairs Senzeni Zokwana announced that South Africa and United States; after tough negotiations; had made a deal to resolve a trade dispute over the exports from both countries.
The countries had been at odds over the exports of beef, poultry and pork from the US over health concerns.
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Ndlozi said deal, through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), raised concerns that the importation of food from America would inhibit the country’s farmers’ capacity to produce food. They would be relegated to insignificance.
“The importation of meat products from America means that local producers of meat will have to scale down or even close their productions because Americans have the certificate to dump their food products in South African markets,” Ndlozi said.
He said when the country joined the BRICS (Brazil, India and China) alliance an impression had been given that alternate markets were being established for South African markets.
“…but such is clearly not the case because SA remains hostage to Western trade agreements which are aimed at putting South Africa and Africa as a whole in the state of industrial and economic insignificance forever,” said Ndlozi.
“This [trade deal] is a sign that our country is politically and ideologically leaderless, and being misguided by spineless president and ministers who do not want to guarantee the country’s food sovereignty,” he said.
Under Agoa South Africa enjoys duty free exports on some products to the US. That deal hinged on South Africa accepting the US’s final conditions following protracted negotiations.
In total 38% of South Africa’s exports go to the US.