File: File: The concession to import around 65,000 tons of the chicken cuts could result in losses of 6,500 jobs and about R900-million in turnover a year.
CAPE TOWN - An agreement between US and South African chicken producers on lifting anti-dumping duties for around 65,000 tons of bone-in chicken cuts a year would only be finalised in the next four to six months, the SA Poultry Association (SAPA) said on Monday.
“We have to reduce it to writing. We have a draft agreement,” said Kevin Lovell, SAPA chairman while addressing the media in Cape Town on the settlement with the US chicken exporters which paves the way for South Africa’s inclusion in the Africa Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA).
The deal, reached in Paris last week, would have to go through a public participation process run by the International Trade Administration Commission.
The settlement came after chicken producers from the two countries were involved in acrimonious talks to reach a settlement.
The US initially wanted to to lift anti-dumping duties on 110,000 tons of bone-in chicken, while SAPA offered 50,000 tons.
The concession to import around 65,000 tons of the chicken cuts could result in losses of 6,500 jobs and about R900-million in turnover a year.
Lovell said over the next few months, the industry would look at a variety of ways to mitigate these losses.
“One of the things we are working on is exports,” he said.
Faizel Ismael, South Africa’s special envoy on AGOA, commended the industry for bending when it would not have gained anything from the extension of the legislation – which still has to be passed by the US Congress.
The AGOA legislation expires in September. It was approved by the US Congress in May 2000 to assist the economies of Sub-Saharan Africa by providing trade preferences and duty-free entry into the US for certain goods under certain conditions.
Such preferences exist for 6,400 South African products – most notably the auto, wine and citrus sectors.