Brazil approach WTO in RSA poultry dispute
Yesterday, Valor Economico, a leading Brazilian newspaper, reported that Brazil is preparing to commence proceedings against South Africa at the World Trade Organisation (WTO). This will be the first time that Brazil takes action at the WTO against a member of the BRICS group.
According to Valor Economico, on 11 June 2012 Camex (the Brazilian Inter-Ministerial Body Responsible for Trade Policy) will give the green light to the Ministry of Foreign Relations to lodge formal consultation request against South Africa’s anti-dumping determinations on Brazilian poultry and pork. It is stated that the action will first be taken against the anti-dumping duties applicable to poultry. It is further reported that, according to sources, Brazil stated that it tried to resolve the issue informally, first through a potential trade-off between Brazilian poultry and South African wine, but South Africa did not show interest in such a negotiation. After the failed negotiation attempts Brazil pushed for informal consultations in Geneva but South Africa did not respond to these requests. Accordingly, it is claimed, Brazil has no other option but to lodge the disputes at the WTO.
Brazil alleges that the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) of South Africa’s investigation into the potential dumping of poultry did not comply with the WTO rules. The Brazilian Poultry Union (Ubabef) questions why Brazil will dump poultry in South Africa when it does not do so in the other 150 countries it exports to.
As for pork, South Africa has banned the entry of Brazilian pork products since 2005 citing health reasons as the reason for the ban.
The information above is a rough translation of information found on a variety of Brazilian websites which all rely on the report by Valor Economico.
If the matter progresses further, it will be first time that South Africa participates in a WTO dispute. South Africa has been a respondent at the WTO for the anti-dumping duties it levied against blanketing from Turkey, pharmaceutical products from India and uncoated woodfree paper from Indonesia, but these cases never proceeding further than a request for consultation. South Africa has also been a third party in complaints against agricultural subsidies by the United States of America (in which we were involved) and domestic support and export credit guarantees for agricultural products by the United States of America. In both these cases, Canada, the complainant, withdrew its request to establish a panel at the WTO to hear the complaint.