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AGOA renewal depends on whether poultry gets on shelvesAGOA renewal depends on whether poultry gets on shelves

Obama will suspend South African benefits if action not taken ahead of March 15.

Jacqui Fatka

January 13, 2016

1 Min Read
AGOA renewal depends on whether poultry gets on shelves

South Africa and U.S. negotiators did reach an agreement on reopening markets to U.S. poultry, beef and pork products, however, the Obama administration said it would be watching to see if they live up to their commitments before reinstating full benefits of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

A U.S. Trade Representative spokesman said, “With the substantive points resolved we are able to move to the final benchmark: Testing the new system to make certain American poultry can be made available on store shelves in South Africa. We have extended the effective date of any AGOA action to allow sufficient time for our product to enter South Africa and are making sure with stakeholders in both countries to ensure this happens quickly so South Africa's AGOA benefits can continue uninterrupted.”

If the remaining benchmark – the entry of U.S. poultry into South Africa under the agreed-upon conditions – is met before March 15, 2016, the President will be able to consider a revocation of the proclamation before suspension takes effect.  The President can also reinstate full AGOA benefits for South Africa any time after he has determined that South Africa is meeting the criteria laid out by the Congress.

Only a limited number of U.S. poultry and meat products have been exported to South Africa in recent years, due to unwarranted sanitary requirements by the South African authorities, with most poultry exports blocked for the last 15 years. With this renewed access for U.S. red meat and poultry products, U.S. exports to South Africa could generate $75 million of shipments annually, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said after the agreement was reached.

About the Author(s)

Jacqui Fatka

Policy editor, Farm Futures

Jacqui Fatka grew up on a diversified livestock and grain farm in southwest Iowa and graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications, with a minor in agriculture education, in 2003. She’s been writing for agricultural audiences ever since. In college, she interned with Wallaces Farmer and cultivated her love of ag policy during an internship with the Iowa Pork Producers Association, working in Sen. Chuck Grassley’s Capitol Hill press office. In 2003, she started full time for Farm Progress companies’ state and regional publications as the e-content editor, and became Farm Futures’ policy editor in 2004. A few years later, she began covering grain and biofuels markets for the weekly newspaper Feedstuffs. As the current policy editor for Farm Progress, she covers the ongoing developments in ag policy, trade, regulations and court rulings. Fatka also serves as the interim executive secretary-treasurer for the North American Agricultural Journalists. She lives on a small acreage in central Ohio with her husband and three children.

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