US chicken industry urges action on anti-dumping duty

By Carina Perkins

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: South africa, International trade, World trade organization, Us, Poultry

US chicken industry urges action on anti-dumping duty
The US chicken industry has written to US Trade Representative Ron Kirk urging him to challenge a South African anti-dumping duty imposed nearly 12 years ago.

Pointing out that Brazil recently filed a challenge with the World Trade Organization (WTO) over anti-dumping duties imposed by South Africa on Brazilian chicken, the National Chicken Council (NCC) and the US Poultry & Egg Export Council (USPEEC) said the US should “match Brazil’s commitment to its industry by filing a WTO challenge on behalf of US chicken exporters”.

They also called on the government to support Brazil as a third-party if Brazil agreed to reciprocate and support the US in its case. “Based on recent communication we have had with our Brazilian counterparts, we are confident that Brazil would welcome a coordinated effort by the US in this matter,”​ said the letter.

It stated that South Africa used the “same flawed theory”​ to impose anti-dumping duties on Brazilian poultry as it did with US poultry two decades ago. “In effect, South Africa is saying that chicken producers should sell chicken feet for the same price as chicken breast,” it said.

Punitive duties

South Africa introduced anti-dumping measures against US imports in 2000, which were scheduled to expire in 2005 under South Africa’s sunset law. However, following a petition from the South African poultry industry, the South African International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) ruled that they should remain in place for an additional five years, despite a High Court ruling in 2007 that they should have expired in 2005.

In 2010, ITAC announced that duties would expire later that year but the South African industry filed another submission, which led to a “sunset review”.​ In February 2012, ITAC imposed across-the-board punitive duties of R9.40/kg.

“At every step, the South African government acted on the assumption that it would violate WTO rules with impunity, and US inaction has confirmed and rewarded that approach,”​ said the letter.

“Worse yet, US tolerance of South Africa’s illegal actions has emboldened other countries, including China, Ukraine and Mexico, to bring almost identical anti-dumping cases against US poultry. Countries like South Africa are illegally blocking US exports at a time when the President’s policy is to double US exports over a five-year period.

“It is time for our government to tell South Africa we will no longer accept that exclusion. It is time for the US government to show the same commitment to its poultry export industry that Brazil is showing to its [own industry]."

Related topics: Meat

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