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Sen. Coons renews call for South Africa to act on chicken imports

Stephen Walling/Wikimedia Commons

Delays in ramping up South Africa’s poultry import market have spurred threats from Sen. Chris Coons (D-Delaware) to reinstate tariffs on that country’s exports.

In June, diplomats from South Africa promised U.S. trade negotiators that they would allow over 140 million pounds of American poultry to be sold in their country every year.

That came after months of pushback from Sen. Chris Coons and others saying the effective ban South Africa had on these specific imports wouldn’t hold up in court.

Coons and his colleagues now continue to threaten excluding the country from the reauthorization of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which gives trade preferences to certain imported products from eligible nations.

In a letter to President Jacob Zuma last week, Coons and Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia say South Africa still needs to build rebate centers to count the imports, develop quota rules and lift the trade ban itself before shipping can begin.

South African officials maintain they have concerns over outbreaks of avian influenza in the U.S. that could damage its domestic industry and sicken its people.

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