For more than a decade, South Africa – like several other African countries – enjoyed preferential trading status with the US under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa).
But after South Africa refused to allow the importation of American chicken, the US threatened to remove South Africa out of its preferential trade programme.
However, the US finally did and the punishment really threatened millions of dollars worth of business in South Africa for years but last-minute negotiations which dealt with South African health concerns finally ended the country’s row with the US over the importation of chicken.
Gladly, In March 2016, American chicken hit South African supermarket shelves for the first time in 15-years, ending the protracted trade dispute between the two countries and paving way for South Africa to further enjoy trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
Speaking at that time, US ambassador to South Africa Patrick Gaspard expressed happiness with the development. He said, “We are delighted by the announcement from USTR Froman today and we welcome the arrival of American chicken into commerce in South Africa. The entry of US poultry into South Africa was required as a condition for avoiding South Africa’s suspension under AGOA”.
Black-Owned Companies To Take Over Importation Of US Chicken
However, South Africa’s Trade and Industry minister Rob Davies has revealed that plans are on the way to establish black-owned companies that will take care of the importation of US chicken.
Addressed the American Chamber of Commerce during a breakfast meeting in Houghton‚ Johannesburg, he said, “There are going to be black-owned companies that will be responsible for the import of the US chicken‚ at least 15% of it.”
But the minister would not mention which retailers sell the US chicken in the country. “You can go to any store and you’ll see it is labelled US product. I don’t know where it is‚ but I can assure you that is has arrived‚” Davies said.
He also assured his listeners of SA’s commitment towards improving on every side, especially in international trade.