The USDA and the U.S. Trade Representative announced after a year of negotiations that South Africa has agreed to lift its ban on U.S. beef, pork and poultry and their products. The USDA estimates under this new agreement that U.S. meat and poultry exports to South Africa could reach $75 million annually.
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack says, “With this agreement, South Africa reaffirms the scientific soundness and integrity of the U.S. system for ensuring animal health and food safety.” The National Pork Producers Council says, “Now that the barriers are falling, we have gained the opportunity to sell safe, high-quality and affordable U.S. pork to over 50 million new consumers.” The NPPC believes there may remain some restrictions on U.S. pork so they will continue to work with the USTR and the South African government to gain “complete access to the South African market.”
President Obama had threatened to revoke South Africa’s duty-free exports under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. South Africa blocked U.S. pork, beef and poultry using unwarranted sanitary requirements. U.S. pork was banned in 2013 following the U.S. outbreak of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome and most U.S. poultry had been blocked for the past 15 years.