US Poultry Industry Explains Position on Trade with Africa

US - Bill Roenigk of the National Chicken Council (NCC) has delivered industry testimony on future trade with Africa before the US International Trade Commission.
calendar icon 15 January 2014
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“Our industry believes that the United States should, where practical and sensible, aid the less developed countries of the world in improving their economies and the standard of living for their citizens,” said Bill Roenigk on 14 January.

Bill Roenigk, NCC Senior Vice President

He was speaking on behalf of the National Chicken Council (NCC) and USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC), in testimony before the US International Trade Commission at a hearing on the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). AGOA will be up for congressional approval this legislative session.

Mr Roenigk said: “However, we believe that developing countries receiving aid or special preferences also have their responsibilities. Chief among those are the obligations to treat all their citizens fairly and see that trade preferences benefit the greater good, not just the advantaged few; and to become good world citizens and to conduct themselves in accordance with the rule of law.”

In 2000, the same year that the United States extended special duty preferences to many of the Republic of South Africa’s exports under AGOA, South Africa imposed anti-dumping duties on US poultry. Prior to 2000, the US industry enjoyed a modest but respectable export market of approximately 55,000 metric tons annually. Since 2000, the US poultry has been totally shut out of the South African market.

The dumping theory used by South Africa in that case – so-called 'weighted average cost of production' – is both economically irrational and inconsistent with international trade rules. Recently, a WTO dispute panel ruled against China, and for the US and the US poultry industry, in a virtually identical case.

Mr Roenigk continued: “We are here today to say that, unless the Republic of South Africa changes its policies, lifts the imposition of dumping duties from our products and allows trade to resume fairly and without restraint, NCC, USAPEEC and other members of the U.S. poultry industry will strongly oppose any further extension of AGOA preferences to the Republic of South Africa.

“We will also oppose extension of AGOA to any other African countries that impose similarly unfair and unjustifiable restrictions on our imports.

“We are, very frankly, looking for a reason to support AGOA extension, and hope that South Africa will take the necessary steps to justify our continued support,” he added.

A copy of the full testimony is available by clicking here.

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