According to the United States Department of Foreign Agricultural Service, the South African Poultry Association is mounting a press offense against the US in order to maintain antidumping duties against US poultry products.
USDA says that South African Poultry Association Executive Director Kevin Lovell ‘demonises’ the US poultry industry.
The United States Congress passed the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) in 2000 allowing preferential duty free access for goods produced in South Africa and neighboring countries. AGOA is now up for renewal before the US Congress, and South African treatment of US poultry imports has become an issue in the congressional debate over renewal, since congressional critics are now asking whether South Africa meets the basic criteria since the country “has been imposing antidumping duties on US poultry since 2001 preventing most imports from the United States.”
USDA states: “In an extensive round of media and press interviews, South African Poultry Association (SAPA) Executive Director Kevin Lovell has resorted to trade protectionist rhetoric to try to convince the people of South Africa that continued imposition of punitive antidumping duties against US poultry products are somehow good for South Africa. Lovell has demonized the US poultry industry, and recently has even begun to disparage US provision of preferential duties to South African goods under the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) pursuant to which South Africa sells several billion dollars in good annually to the US market.”
The South African government has urged to negotiate a settlement to the longstanding antidumping case, continues USDA. “However, it appears that in place of negotiating with the US poultry industry, Mr. Lovell is attempting to insulate his industry from having to make any concessions in the discussions surrounding renewal of AGOA. Recently, Mr. Lovell has begun calling the United States a ‘bully’ because it wants fair access to the South African market for US poultry products. Mr. Lovell’s name-calling is particularly inappropriate given the fact that the United States permits 40 percent of the products it imports from South Africa to enter duty free under AGOA and GSP.”