LETTER: Getting facts straight on Brazilian poultry imports
A series of articles concerning the Brazilian poultry production has recently been published in the context of the application in SA, currently under analysis, for a hike in import tariffs of frozen chicken portions to 82% (Less chicken supply partner, more predator, January 19).
It is of the utmost importance that both the government and general public have accurate information, since false or imprecise premises may lead to bad decisions and undesired effects. That is why the embassy of Brazil wishes to clarify some of the misleading affirmations recently published as facts.
Brazilian producers play by the rules. Brazilian poultry exports are of high quality and do not receive any state subsidy. In fact, Brazilian producers’ prices are historically higher than the world average. It is not true that Korea, Mexico and Japan apply three-digit tariff rates on Brazilian exports.
The average tariff imposed by countries classified as “developed” is an ad valorem rate of 26.58%, and that of “developing” countries is 21.11%. Meanwhile, the rate already imposed by SA on some poultry products is as high as 37%.
Accusations of unfair trade practices are intended to portray an external adversary, when the major cause of the lack of competitiveness of local producers are domestic challenges, such as climatic factors or endemic diseases. Fair competition is beneficial for both consumers and economic actors, since it stimulates investment and improvement in productivity, allowing for lower prices.
SA and Brazil have long been strategic partners. Together, we have accomplished many things in the international arena, and business ties between our exporters and importers is one of these. Such ties would be undermined by the unilateral imposition of heavy duties on imports, especially in the face of evidence that suggests the measure in view would cause trade diversion and an increase in prices for consumers, and not the intended effect of boosting local production.
As a partner and a friend, Brazil stands, as ever, ready to work with SA.
Bruno Carvalho Arruda
Economic affairs, agriculture and Brics point of contact
Embassy of Brazil