Delmarva Likely to See Benefits from End of South African Poultr - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delmarva Likely to See Benefits from End of South African Poultry Tariff against US

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DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - The country of South Africa has agreed to end its tariff on American poultry, which is big news for the poultry industry on Delmarva.

The two nations reached an agreement over the weekend. According to the office of Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, he and other senators had pressured the South African government for nearly a year to end the tariff.

George Carey owns a chicken farm south of Milford and has ten chicken houses.

"The capacity is about 240,000. That's 4-4.5 times a year."

That's a lot of chicken. And there are more than 4,600 chicken houses on Delmarva. So, any major change to the poultry industry worldwide has an impact on the peninsula.

According to Delaware's congressional delegation, the tariff has been in place for 15 years. Sen. Coons says that's meant American chicken has been basically illegally kept out of Africa's largest potential market for it.

"Somewhere between 10 and 20 percent of all poultry grown in America is sold for export. So, if we're going to keep growing the future for poultry growers and integrators here on the Delmarva peninsula, we need to grow opportunities for the export of our poultry overseas," he said.

Sen. Coons says about 143,000,000 lbs. of chicken will now go from the US to South Africa each year. As a reference point, the Titanic weighed 104,000,000 lbs. - about 40,000,000 pounds less.

Carey says anything that gives chickens like his more places to go is a good thing.

"It brings in the market," he said. "The more people there are in the market, the better it is. Supply and demand is what rules the market."

Sen. Coons says this was a major victory, but there's still a lot of work to be done elsewhere. Tariffs block US poultry from lots of countries, especially in the developing world.

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