WATCH: SA farmers to fight US over cheap chicken imports

President Donald Trump's decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium has revived the years-long poultry tussle between the US and South Africa, with farmers now calling for higher import tariffs on US chicken.

For chicken farmer Herman Pretorius the United States and its cheap poultry exports are becoming a threat. "I’d like the South African government to introduce higher import tariffs, we can’t compete with subsidised chickens from overseas."

Pretorius said the industry had started to expand, then came to a standstill because of imports. "I wanted to expand my business, create jobs for our people but the imports from overseas had really hurt us."

SA’s poultry producers, who believe the tariffs imposed by Trump on steel and aluminium in May, breach AGOA requirements. The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which came into effect in May 2000, provides trade preferences for quotas and duty-free entry to the US for certain goods.

After months of threats, the South Africa Poultry Association has now filed a lawsuit, calling for the US poultry tariff exclusion to be suspended, whatever the risks.

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