August 24, 2018


US poultry industry seeking to retaliate against South Africa


The US poultry industry is asking the US government to consider retaliation should South Africa proceed to suspend a quota that excludes US imports from an anti-dumping tariff, according to the head of a poultry trade group.


The South African Poultry Association (SAPA) has filed a lawsuit seeking to force the government to suspend the quota in response to Trump administration's decision to impose tariffs on aluminium and steel imports from South Africa.

"We will certainly be encouraging our government to take appropriate action," James Sumner, president of the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council, reiterated.

The trade conflict could put at risk duty-free access to the US market for nearly US$2 billion worth of South African exports, government officials and trade experts say.

South Africa levies a tariff on "bone-in" poultry that it says is exported by major world producers, including the United States, at prices below the cost of production.

The U.S. poultry industry believes the anti-dumping tariff is illegal.

Susceptibleto losing its benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), South Africa agreed to a quota in 2015 allowing some 65,000 tonnes of meat from US producers to be imported tariff-free each year.

AGOA grants qualifying countries duty-free access to the US market for thousands of goods. More than US$1.8 billion in South African exports to the US were covered by AGOA last year.

However, South Africa's poultry association is arguing that tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium imports imposed by Washington earlier this year violate the quota agreement by curtailing AGOA benefits.

"We hope that the US and South Africa will amicably resolve differences they have over the (steel and aluminium) tariffs but it should not interfere with agreements already reached on poultry trade," Sumner said.

Source: Channel NewsAsia