US chickens to cross the Atlantic to SA

FILE PICTURE: Chicken. Picture: Michel Bega

US chicken will have renewed access into the South African market, the department of trade and industry announced on Saturday.

“The two industries have agreed on the framework to provide for renewed market access for U.S. bone-in chicken into the South African market,” spokesperson Sidwell Medupe said in a statement.

Official from the two countries met in Paris for two days, to address outstanding agricultural trade issues related to South Africa’s AGOA ( Africa Growth Opportunity Act) eligibility, and broader trade matters.

“The Governments also agreed to a firm set of actions this month to resolve the remaining sanitary issues related to poultry, pork, and beef,” Medupe said.

“The framework provides for the return of exports to South Africa of U.S. bone-in chicken after the two governments complete necessary implementation steps.”

Medupe said the SA government would implement the framework after a public consultation process.

“While both sides recognize 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 U.S. chicken as quickly as possible.”

Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies, who was in Paris for the talks, said: “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.”

Last month, the U.S. Senate voted to include South Africa in the AGOA under what is referred to as “strict terms” over the next 10 years. One of the biggest terms includes an “out of cycle review” with respect to South Africa on its compliance with AGOA.

The U.S. had accused SA of blocking U.S. poultry imports, which led to some senators calling for South Africa to be excluded in the renewal of AGOA.

The AGOA legislation was approved by the U.S. Congress in May 2000 to assist the economies of Sub-Saharan Africa and to improve economic relations between the U.S. and the region. The Act provides trade preferences and duty-free entry into the U.S. for certain goods under certain conditions.

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