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Inauguration of President Trump versus USA Chicken Dumping in South Africa

Martie Coetser is a freelance writer from South Africa. She has a keen interest in a variety of topics.

Donald Trump, chicken trade, South Africa

Donald Trump, chicken trade, South Africa

January 20th , 2017 will go down in history as the inauguration date of the forty-fifth president of the United States of America - Donald John Trump.

South Africans who followed the procedures on television, realized that they were witnessing the dawn of a new era. Having an experienced businessman at the helm of the most powerful country in the world, instead of a man who had mastered the dumbfounding conducts of politicians, forecast only changes upon changes.

The majority of economists in South Africa foresee dark years ahead for South Africa and the rest of Africa.

"Expect and prepare for the worst reactionary politics…. we're going to see serious political conflicts around the world and within the United States…” said Patrick Bond, Professor of Political Economy. He predicted the cancelation of many SA/US agreements, which will, among other challenges, lead to higher unemployment in SA.

USA’s agreements with South Africa

USA’s agreements with South Africa involve almost eighty American businesses in SA - businesses that provide work to nearly seventy-thousand South Africans, and indirectly to even more. These American companies spend millions of rand on training and skills development. As they pay maximum tax, they are, like all tax-payers, partly responsible for essential services such as education and health care.

In 2015, SA’s exported $8.4 billion of goods to the USA, and $3.0 billion of services. Imports were $9.1 billion of goods and $1.7 billion of services. USA’s foreign direct investment (FDI) in South Africa (stock) was $6.2 billion in 2014, which was a 3.1% decrease from 2013. (Direct investments were made in manufacturing, wholesale trade, and scientific/technical services.)

Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), South Africa exports more manufactured products to the United States than any other country. This entails the export of platinum, diamonds, iron, steel, machinery, titanium, BMW’s, Mercedes’, and agricultural products such as tree nuts, fresh fruit, wine, beer, processed fruit & vegetables, and planting seeds.

South Africa’s imports from the USA include among others dirt-cheap chickens.


South Africa kills its own poultry industry by importing cheap chickens from the USA

“Over the last five years, the local poultry industry has grown by just 1.7% while imports have grown by 140%...” explained Kevin Lovell, Chief Executive of the SA Poultry Association, to journalist Mdu Nhlebela on June 23rd , 2016.

The import of cheap chickens, which are sold at a price that cannot cover the production-costs of poultry producers in SA, is destroying South Africa’s poultry industry with its 130,000 employment contracts.

Although Pres. Obama literally forced SA to accept USA chickens, many South Africans nurture another perspective on this matter, namely -

A right-wing perspective on South Africa's import of cheap American chickens -

South Africa’s farming industry is still mainly ‘white’ in spite of the ongoing killing of white farmers and other efforts to make farming a feasible outcome for black South Africans.

To mention only two of SA Government’s efforts to sanction white farmers:

  1. Refusal to demand in an outspoken manner the ending of farm attacks and the brutal killings of white farmers (while freaking out about the merest white-on-black infliction);
  2. Importing cheap chickens from the USA.

Continuous importing of cheap chickens will soon destroy South Africa’s poultry industry, including 130,000 jobs.



Opinion of an owfma-sa

Of course, President Donald Trump’s intention to make America great again is exactly what Americans expect of their president. Citizens from all countries over the world want their president to have the same intention regarding their country.

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Sadly, in South Africa, and many other countries, the benefit of being a president and minister seems to be the selfish filling of personal pockets (via kickbacks and the sharing of profits).

President Trump’s intention to minimize USA imports while maximizing exports may lead to the termination of trading negotiations between the USA and other countries. If agreements between the USA and South Africa bite the dust - IF - South Africa's poultry industry will no longer have a challenge to meet, but what about the rest of SA's imports and exports from/to the USA? Surely, SA as well as the rest of the world, will find it difficult to survive termination of trading negotiations with the USA!

Perhaps we should not meet troubles half-way. Stick to South Africa's rule: "Don't fetch the baboon behind the hill!"

Let’s hope that the decisions made by Pres. Trump and his fellow-decision makers will manifest only insight and vision worthy to copy.

May America not become great at the cost of the rest of the world!


© 2017 Martie Coetser


Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on February 19, 2017:

bravewarrior – I have to agree with you. I can’t even envision the short-term and long-term results of his actions. He is pulling the entire planet back into the past. Go figure, we all go back to the Middle Ages, building walls and moats in an effort to protect ourselves against whatever/whoever may harm us?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, dear Sha :)

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on February 13, 2017:

It seems to me Trump wants to segregate us from the rest of the world. He'll be heavily taxing imports, wants to keep people from other countries from coming here and is building a wall between the US and Mexico.

I read in the paper yesterday that several top end department stores have stopped carrying Ivanka's line of clothing and jewelry. That speaks volumes about how We the People feel about our new leader.

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on January 30, 2017:

AliciaC – Sadly, everything that happens in the USA affects the entire world either negatively or positively. I am waiting in anticipation to see the results of current happenings. If the value of the dollar drops, the value of SA’s currency rises. So, what’s negative in the USA may very well have a positive effect on SA. The markets are always unpredictable. I am concerned about the Donald’s aggressive methods to make the USA ‘great’ again. He is ruffling the feathers of USA’s enemies, and this may cause a global disaster. I am truly concerned.

Meanwhile, the chicken-crisis in our country has reached a devastating peak. By the end of this week we may know the way forward. Hopefully SA will manage to divert the chickens coming NOT ONLY from the USA, but also from Europe, as cuts/pieces that are not popular up there, are being dumped in SA!! To save jobs, the Government may buy the chicken farms that can no longer keep head above water due to the cheap imports. But this means taxpayers will be funding those farms. Worse: The governments’ efforts to achieve success in the agriculture sector were up to now a remarkable waste of money with extraordinary negative results. I don’t know!

Fortunately, it is not my responsibility to solve this crisis. I can only pray – yes pray – that those in charge will receive wisdom and vision and everything that is needed to save all those thousands of jobs - and not only in the chicken industry. Chicken farms buy, for example, tons of maize per week, so the fall of the chicken industry may lead to the fall of the maize industry, etc. etc.

Because of AGOA we have to solve it!

PS: I hope I did not repeat myself!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on January 29, 2017:

I'm hoping for the best for the United States, South Africa and the other countries that the U.S. affects. The future is worrying.

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on January 29, 2017:

Michael-Milec – Meekness is a virtue! Indeed, we should keep our eyes on the mountains… and walk on these stormy waters.

Michael-Milec on January 29, 2017:

A portin of the above comment has caught my attention , suggesting a perpetual hope of generations that "mankind slowly but surely grows into maturity." Sighing. Mr. Trump might be or perhap is an eccentric instrument appointed by the providence to "sort out '' the historical stirring never experienced before, as the world is staged for unpredictable catastrophic outcome...

(we do hope though for a fulfillment of the saying ' ...the meek will inherit the earth...)

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on January 29, 2017:

Genna East – I agree with you, and that wall will be such a horrible waste of money. No wall will ever keep evil from flowing wherever there’s a flow to flow. As long as there are people in the USA, a certain number of them will be drug-addicts and criminals of all sorts who WILL encourage drug-dealers including criminals of all sorts do dig holes through the strongest of blockages. Really! Why not, instead of building a wall, enhance law-enforcement? But then, enhancing law enforcement automatically goes with enhancing corruption, as there will always be corrupt people willing and able to do anything for money.

Oh well, perhaps it is time for a wall to be, while mankind slowly but surely grows into maturity.

I think Trump is a force to be reckoned with. He is busy realizing the ‘fantasies’ of millions, and he will keep on doing it. At the end of the day things will simply sort themselves out.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on January 25, 2017:

Hi Martie. I'm quite certain that Trump will employ blackmail, in part, by leveraging NAFTA with Mexico in helping to pay for a wall that won't work.

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on January 24, 2017:

MsDora – Let’s hope for the best and pray that all will be blessed with wisdom. This is after all the only positive thing we can do.

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on January 24, 2017:

Michael-Milec – I agree all the way with you. We ordinary folks can but only go with the flow created by the negotiators and decision makers. Our happiness or unhappiness doesn’t count. Peace to you, too :)

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on January 24, 2017:

Genna East – This is so true: “… trade disputes are never straight-forward, but tend to be convoluted games of chess and this one is no exception…”

And this is a form of blackmail: “The South Africans… are in no mood to jeopardise the billions tied up in their car industry which gains significant advantage from exporting tariff-free into the US. The investment figures in South Africa's automotive sector are not chicken feed and are unlikely to be risked in a trade spat.”

Thank you for the link!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on January 23, 2017:

That chicken deal has stench written all over it. It is a wild guess that everyone can raise their own. It's worth a prayer that the new will not be as dangerous as most expect.

Michael-Milec on January 23, 2017:

Hello Martie. Exposing a dirty cheap chicken might be only one of the previous administration's "dirty " schemes. "We the people " - the citizens all over the world know some, a bit or nothing of the behind the scene governments contracts.Substituting certain part of economy in one country is killing the economy of the others, especially if " one prefers to feed his ego " disregarding of economics of the others, for the personal gain. (Mostly the elected politicians care to satisfy their greedy appetite.) One is for sure, the president Trump is unpredictable; who isn't ?! Focusing on his doing won't help to solve domestic problems of any other country, especially if one tolerates "killings the white farmers." In general, most of the worldly affairs are not known to us ordinary self- preserved hard working soberly thinking folks, while the One who holds in His hand hand all the principles of the universe is watchful that all is being " paid back up to fourth generations." Hard not to admit this principle working; in my lengthy time walking on this planet earth, I have observed it to be true beginning with the personal , families or a nations pay-back dividends. Not all are negative. You have mentioned exporting seeds. Well, what we are sowing we will be reaping. When everyone of " the people " conscience is clear and we do live righteously, no president would be our problem. ( There are so many opportunities and privileges to raise one's own chicken.)


Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on January 23, 2017:

PegCole17 – Yes, that’s exactly what happened, and that’s why we call it ‘dumping’ instead of importing. I couldn’t find enough information to understand why the USA literally forced SA to accept chickens and meat – all of a sudden after 16 years’ embargo on chicken imports. Let’s hope that this kind of enigmas come to an end.

Genna East on January 23, 2017:

I also found this artcile to be interesting:

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on January 23, 2017:

marcoujor – Poor chickens! Imagine, born to be devoured by humans! The nitty-gritty of imports and exports may even surprise The Donald. Love you lots, dear Mar!

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on January 23, 2017:

shanmarie – Taking one day at a time is most certainly what we all should do, as there is actually nothing we can do to prevent whatever’s going to be.

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on January 23, 2017:

FlourishAnyway – I honestly believe that he will be kept in line by the rest of the administration, and by America’s Constitution. Touch wood!

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on January 23, 2017:

always exploring – For all we know he will keep his promises, and then everybody will be happy. I am glad he is fed-up with fake news. I hope he will put an end to it. Although, and these are someone else’s words: “If you don’t read newspapers, you are uninformed. If you do read newspapers, you are misinformed.”

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on January 23, 2017:

kallini2010 – I am trying my best to be positive. Let’s face it, the world of politics need a radical change. Although I am used to this stress – expecting the worse coming from politicians every day – I must say that USA politics on top of SA’s makes me sick with stress. As if I will be able to prevent a disaster!

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on January 23, 2017:

Your article gave me inspiration to study the topic of exporting chickens from the U.S. "In June 2015, the Washington-based poultry industry associations negotiated an agreement with the South African Poultry Association to end the rainbow nation’s chicken embargo (6 months before Trump took office 2 days ago). "Senators had pressured the South African government for more than a year to change their policies toward U.S. poultry products"..."Barack Obama gave South Africa a 60-day notice of his intention to suspend its AGOA benefits if South Africa did not eliminate trade barriers to U.S. poultry, as well as beef and pork."

I can only imagine who will receive the blame for this legislation and I doubt it will be our former President. From

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on January 23, 2017:

Even 'paltry' (I mean poultry...!) matters like chickens take on a whole new meaning when examined globally, as this news report does, dear Martie.

Wishing you a peaceful week. Love you lots, mar

Shannon Henry from Texas on January 22, 2017:

You provide much to think about, Martie. I wonder about changes every time election year rolls around. Of course, I only know about most of the past presidents through history lessons, as compared to you. And this election will certainly stand out in the history books. But seems like one day at a time is becoming my motto of late. Perhaps Trump will surprise the skeptics and build better relationship between allies that are mutually beneficial.

FlourishAnyway from USA on January 22, 2017:

I'd be very concerned about dependency on any foreign interest, especially when the country is headed up by a madman. He is a classic case of Narcissistic Personally Disorder.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on January 22, 2017:

Martie, this is an eye opener. I had this fear that Trump would not do business as usual, but chickens? He does promise that he's going to make America great again, like we've not been great! He talks about cleaning up Washington, this he plans to do with Billionaires who probably never tasted chicken. You can't make this up, it's so bizarre! I know this is no joke for SA, but hold your bonnet tightly, the wind is going to blow like never before. Keep informing us. Much is hidden from we Americans.

kallini2010 from Toronto, Canada on January 22, 2017:

I agree - it's a show, only not a very good one -

(I've written you a response, which disappeared, so, I'll just stick with this) - tomorrow it will be another act, probably even uglier.

You know how fascinating it is to watch a plane crash, a ship going down?

That's how I feel. The ship is going down - while few survivors become a dinner for the sharks.

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on January 22, 2017:

vocalcoach – I don’t think President Trump would like to be associated with chickens at this early stage of his reign. Perhaps he sees the image and immediately solves the problems around it. Thank you for your kind comment, dear Audrey :)

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on January 22, 2017:

kallini2010 – Yes, I saw the protests – also down here in Cape Town was an anti-Trump sister march –

Interesting how many protestors are roaming the streets of the world - a proof that no matter who you are, or what you are advocating, there will always be hordes not agreeing with you. That’s okay. What is not okay is the vandalizing of property during protest marches. Why on earth do some people break things when they’re angry? This is so baby-ish… todlerish… !!

O well, Svetlana, we have no choice but to sit back, watch the show, and try to hold on to what we’re not willing to lose. Many of us down here in SA are already expert at this.

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on January 22, 2017:

Sorry Martie but I'm still laughing at the 'chicken' images. I actually started my hysterics viewing the first photo ... before reading a single word. Somehow, to me, this image sort of says it all. You're a remarkable writer with an amazing mind. I always learn from your articles - and I like this! Trump will not be the same man he is today as he fulfills his job as president. You've said it - I agree.

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on January 22, 2017:

PegCole17 – The fall of our shoe-factories comes to mind, as I was involved as an independent bookkeeper when the price of imported shoes became cheaper and forced the industry to a fall. Having competition is essential, but competition coming from outside and causes the loss of jobs inside the boundaries of a country, should not be allowed. I am truly curious to see exactly how the Trump administration is going to bring an end to this kind of problem not only in the USA, but all over the world.

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on January 22, 2017:

Genna East – I agree wholeheartedly with you. As I’ve already said, talk is cheap. It’s easy to envision doing a president’s job, and to even make promises as if you are already the president. Hundred days from now Donald Trump will no longer be the person he is today. He will be tamed by the knowledge a person only obtain while he literally sits in the chair of a president. Seeing him changed from an arrogant businessman into a disillusioned president, is going to be very interesting.

kallini2010 from Toronto, Canada on January 22, 2017:

Lately I have nothing to say. I don't believe the Trump-Dump-Frump presidency to be great for America or anybody else. He is not rich because he cares about others, he is rich because he cares about himself. He'll dump his own family if need will be.

I loved the photo-montage of Drump surrounded by chickens - let's hope that in real life he'll be surrounded by baboons. (I'm not sure if baboons are a good company, but, hey, he's a businessman, he'll find a business opportunity anywhere).

He won't import or export for that matter dirt-cheap baboons?

He might.

The good thing Drump is not an idealogue either - he will give and take his word according to his interest at the moment. He won't fight for ideas. We have a saying that the first attempt of anything comes out badly - as in a crepe (which supposed to be flat and thin) comes as a ball. Let's not have that Ball in politics.

I think you make a good point that gets obscured - South Africa and any country that braces for impact for Dump's presidency must clean up their own acts and not get distracted.

That's one of Trump's greatest "trumps" - to distract attention from what is really being done.

Did you watch the protests by women in the US?

I think he should kick all women and children out of the country for four years.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on January 22, 2017:

Insightful and interesting comparison here, Martie. I am eager to learn what we will see in the coming months while our new President tries to fulfill his promises. I was surprised to learn, "The import of cheap chickens, which are sold at a price that cannot cover the production-costs of poultry producers in SA, is destroying South Africa’s poultry industry with its 130,000 employment contracts."

Possibly your chicken industry will grow if the importatation of chickens is halted. I remember when Japan flooded our market with cheap electronics and all of our TV manufacturers couldn't compete with the price. They went under.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on January 22, 2017:

With Trump, optics often come into play, and not a heck of a lot of knowledge or forethought as to the complex consequences of decisions - -case in point, the implications of "America first" and potential trade wars in terms of imports from other countries -- SA included. I get a little nervous with any global leader who has a tendency to "open mouth, insert foot." I watched an interview today, wherein someone said, "Never mind what Trump says, it's what he does that's important." When I hear stuff like this, I just cringe. Very interesting article, Martie. All we can do at the moment is fasten our seat-belts and wait for the takeoff.

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on January 22, 2017:

sallybea – with this sentence in your comment you have hit the nail on its head. “I think it for all of us to wake up to the reality that we all need do more in our own countries before we seek imports from other countries, no matter how cheap they are.”

Here are more than enough opportunities to produce chickens for human consumption in SA. It’s time to pull up socks and become independent from other countries.

BTW, I hate the fact that humans have to eat animals! I would like to be a vegetarian, but I am far too lazy to change my diet.

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on January 22, 2017:

billybuc – We can but only hope that everything will turn out for the best. Someone has to take the lead when it comes to the correction of trade at the cost of a country’s people.

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on January 22, 2017:

mckbirdbks – I was not able to determine exactly from where the chickens come from. If you find a way to begin a chicken farm, please appoint me as your bookkeeper.

Here’s another informative article -

The issue is not the chicken dumping per se, but the fact that they are cheaper than SA’s own chickens. SA’s farmers, and actually all businesses, main obstacle when it comes to production costs is the minimum salary to be paid to employees.

This brings me to the fact that even human rights are not free. If you want rights, including a minimum salary, you have to pay what you have to pay for whatever you need/want.

Suggestion: America has to raise the price of their chickens :)))

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on January 22, 2017:

Nell Rose – Well, he did mention in one of his speeches that he and his fellow decision makers have the highest IQ in the world. This gives us a reason to be positive :)

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on January 22, 2017:

Let’s do exactly that :)

Martie Coetser (author) from South Africa on January 22, 2017:

Hi, Jodah! We are living in interesting times. Talk is cheap. Let’s give him a chance to learn the ins and the outs, and yes, to end what should be ended. As I understand, there are a lot of unnecessary and even corrupt imports. BTW, I just heard he is having, or going to have any moment now, a telephone conversation with your president :)

Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on January 22, 2017:

Another fascinating Hub, thank you, Martie. I imagine that the cheap import of chickens allows people to eat fairly cheaply and as long as there is no incentive for people to raise their own poultry in their own country this will continue. I think it for all of us to wake up to the reality that we all need do more in our own countries before we seek imports from other countries, no matter how cheap they are.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 22, 2017:

Great insights, Martie! This is going to be, from a historical point of view, a fascinating four years. I would have loved for it not to be, but not much can be done at this point. If I lived in a nation heavily dependent on U.S. trade I, too, would have great concerns.

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on January 22, 2017:

Well, you have the South Africa reporting down. Well done. Wonder where those dirt cheap chickens are raised?

Nell Rose from England on January 22, 2017:

Good points Martie, I just hope that the other guys in the job around him will keep him grounded. and just remember, if he does go off on one and demands stupid things the under president can 'take him down' for mental problems! LOL! read that somewhere!

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on January 22, 2017:

Keeping fingers crossed and hoping for the best for America and the entire world.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on January 22, 2017:

Thank you for the insight into how Donald Trump becoming US President may impact on South Africa. We here in Australia have similar concerns, but I guess only time will tell. Thank you for sharing this, Martie.

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