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Free-trade deal on the line

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Monday, 10 March 2014

Free-trade deal on the line

US POULTRY producers are lobbying their government to withdraw South Africa's duty-free access in retaliation for anti-dumping duties, which they say are unfair.
South Africa enjoys duty-and quota-free access to the US market for about 6,800 product lines, in part thanks to the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), which grants most African countries preferential market access without any reciprocity required for US goods.
Latest available figures show South Africa exports to the US under Agoa totalled $3.7bn (R40.8bn) in 2012.
Lobbyists in the US have been trying to get South Africa excluded from Agoa, which is vital for the local automotive industry."
The National Chicken Council and the USA Poultry & Export Egg Council have made submissions to the US International Trade Commission (ITC), saying the US poultry industry will strongly oppose another extension of Agoa benefits to South Africa unless “fair trade" in their products is resumed.
The controversial anti-dumping duties on US poultry products, which were calculated using the weighted average cost of production method, were imposed in 2000. Last August, the World Trade Organisation ruled against similarly imposed tariffs by China against US chicken.
South Africa, as an upper middle-income country, is under fire for its inclusion under Agoa.
Critics say it is unfair to give South Africa duty-free access to the US while poor countries such as Bangladesh do not enjoy the same benefits.

Source: BDLive.co.za