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Meat importers welcome move to suspend poultry anti-dumping duties

Paul Matthew, CEO of AMIE SA, said the suspension of additional tariffs on imported chicken is a first step in the right direction.
Paul Matthew, CEO of AMIE SA, said the suspension of additional tariffs on imported chicken is a first step in the right direction.
Image: Sean Calitz

The Association of Meat Importers and Exporters (AMIE SA) on Monday welcomed the suspension of anti-dumping duties on chicken imported from Brazil, Spain, Poland, Ireland and Denmark for 12 months, saying this decision is a win for millions of cash-strapped SA consumers.

AMIE SA CEO Paul Matthew said SA consumers are under significant financial pressure. 

“Chicken is the most affordable and therefore vital source of protein for SA consumers, especially those living below the poverty line. This shows that our government, and specifically [trade, industry and competition] minister [Ebrahim] Patel, is alive to the plight of consumers and ready to take actions to help mitigate the impact of rampant inflation, which is encouraging,”

The association asked government in April to consider a moratorium on tariffs on imported chicken to help curb inflation. It also asked for existing tariffs to be reconsidered and for all chicken cuts to be exempted from VAT.

In June it wrote to the minister of finance, urging him to conduct a public interest inquiry on anti-dumping duties. 

In reaching a decision, Patel said he considered the rapid rise in food prices and the significant impact this has, especially on the poor, as well as the impact anti-dumping duties may have on the price of chicken as one of the more affordable protein sources.

Matthew said: “The suspension of additional tariffs on chicken imported from these five countries is a first step in the right direction and we hope to see more of this sort of action from government in future.” 

Governments around the world have been slashing import tariffs as a way to help their citizens survive. 

“Mexico, the Philippines and South Korea have removed tariffs on imported goods, including chicken, to curb and mitigate the impact of rising inflation on their people. The US is considering scrapping its tariffs on various goods for the same reason.”

He said the liberalisation of trade policies can help consumers.

“The opposite is true of localisation and protectionist policies, because they restrict competition, which leads to an increase in the price of local goods. We welcome that government has recognised the timing and extent of these policies need careful consideration and has suspended the implementation of tariffs for 12 months. It shows that government is putting its citizens first, which is exactly how it should be,” said Matthew.

TimesLIVE


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