Has Washington Declared A Food War On BRICS Member, South Africa, Through Its AGOA?

 

President Barak Obama, as head-of-state and commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the United States of America and his team for the “African Growth And Opportunity Act (AGOA)”, gave sovereign South Africa until the 15th of this month of March 2016, to comply with Washington’s export of poultry as well as other meats.

 

In the meantime, the first batch of 325 tonnes of American brown chicken pieces has already hit South Africa’s supermarkets!

 

If South Africa would not abide by the AGOA-dictate of the White House, the country would be suspended from duty-free treatment to all AGOA eligible goods in the agricultural sector, meaning, South Africa would not be able to trade on the American market.

 

The obvious question is, why would a US president get involved in a project to export chickens to South Africa with a total weight of 65 000 tonnes annually?

 

It is BRICS, the new economic order of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Observing the obvious, it is Washington’s arm-twisting foreign politics. AGOA is their law.

 

The White House’s discontent with South Africa’s move closer to China and Russia through its BRICS membership, as well as South Africa’s plan to cap foreign ownership in the security companies from mainly the US and the UK, are the real thorns in Obama and Cameron’s side.

 

The Chief Executive Officer of South Africa’s Poultry Association (SAPA), Kevin Lovell, explained that there was a clash between Washington and South Africa since the AGOA status came up for review at the beginning of this year 2016.

 

Lovell warned that building whole industries on AGOA would be dangerous, because it is a concession and not a trade agreement. South Africa’s industries are aware that the concession could be taken away from them at any time.

 

WASHINGTON’S FOREIGN POLITICS AT ITS WORST

 

From the onset the White House threatened that South Africa would loose its benefits, if it did not remove its anti-dumping duties on US poultry imports.

 

South Africa’s trade delegation consulted with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on fair legal trade structures, which would have made America’s chicken imports more expensive. Washington’s “negotiating” team knew that it was not allowed to dump its brown poultry pieces for much longer.

 

When US-AGOA came up for renewal in 2014, brown poultry pieces became one of the strong negotiation tools. In addition, Washington’s trade team would invest in the development of new, indigenous black African entrants in the poultry industry. What they forgot to mention is, there are no indigenous black Africans who own a poultry-import business. It is the existing meat importers, who benefit.

 

America’s cost-recovery is from the white poultry meat, not the brown on the bone. When Washington exported its chickens to Ghana, prices were fixed so low that Ghana’s poultry industry collapsed and never recovered since. However, the prices for the imported chicken pieces from America escalated then.

 

Meanwhile, there was an outbreak of two types of poultry diseases in America, namely Avian Influenza and Salmonella. The outbreak of Avian Influenza hit America’s poultry industry in 2014 as well as in 2015.

 

Standard procedure is, that trade would be suspended and all exports halted when there is an outbreak of such diseases. Before trading of poultry would be resumed, the diseases would have to be proven to be cleaned out and destroyed completely.

 

The International Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has strict guidelines when a country, any country, can be declared free from disease. This has to be followed by a period of three months after cleaning and disinfecting to the last of infected farms and before exporting.

 

WASHINGTON’s CREATIVE POWER-ARM-TWISTING THROUGH AGOA

 

Capitol Hill tried to force South Africa during the active outbreak of the Avian Influenza to accept a “regionalization protocol”. It means, Washington tried to dictate to South Africa to accept the different US states as “regions” and accept their chickens. Those “regions” would not be affected by an outbreak of Avian Influenza. It also means, that South Africa should accept the poultry from those states/”regions”.

 

However, geographic states being declared “regions” is not good enough. A sovereign South Africa considers whole countries in its trade relations, not parts of them.

 

In fact, the latest outbreak of Avian Influenza in America’s poultry-production industry spread so fast from one state to the next that it spun out of control.

 

Washington had its own way out again. A method called “compartmentalization” was brought to the negotiation table. “Compartments” were negotiated during peace times. Countries would agree to accept “compartments” to enable movement of breeding stock. South Africa agreed with AVIAGEN to work with their operations as a “compartment”. It is claimed that “compartments” are better for the control of diseases such as Avian Influenza, which is spread by wild birds. “Compartments” are under a central control system from beginning to end. It should mean that therefore, health risks are minimal.

 

But, regions have many different operations, which are not linked with one another and do not fall under the same management.

 

When Washington insisted on South Africa to accept their regions, South Africa’s Veterinary Services requested more information to evaluate the risks, as crucial information seemed to have been withheld i.e. the American poultry producers declared themselves free from Avian Influenza H5N8. Meanwhile, American poultry producers had an additional outbreak of H5N2, but did not declare it to the OIE. As American poultry producers declared themselves free from H5N8, there existed infected backyard flocks being cleaned up.

 

In January 2016 a new outbreak of Avian Influenza was reported in America. Under normal circumstances it would have resulted in the complete suspension of agricultural trade in general. But, it is not the case. If that batch lands in South Africa, this country’s national poultry industry would be put under severe health risk, as Avian Influenza would spread to the local poultry industry.

 

Another major health risk also seems to raise its evil head, SALMONELLA ENTERITIDIS. This avian disease will affect and kill humans in South Africa and the SADC region.

 

South Africa has a protocol for monitoring all imported meat and meat products for SALMONELLA. Sampling and testing of shipments at the country’s ports of entry apply to everyone.

 

Washington however, wants its products to be tested only for monitoring, but not for typing to establish what type of SALMONELLA it might be.

 

This writer was told that Washington rejected any form of typing and subjection to heat treatment of its poultry exports. South Africa was not given the option to reject landed, SALMONELLA infected poultry. And, South Africa cannot return shipments despite proof of disease.

 

The above-mentioned sanitary problems entered the negotiations at a later stage. South Africa’s poultry industry was involved during the negotiations of the annual tonnage, but not in the sanitary discussions.

 

SOUTH AFRICA SUCCUMBED TO WASHINGTON’S AGOA POLITICS

 

The South African authorities and their affiliated structures accepted and signed Washington’s “regionalization protocol”, despite the above-mentioned discrepancies. South Africa’s Veterinary Association tried to clear matters up. However, it was unsuccessful. AGOA was signed.

 

THE WHITE HOUSE-AGOA-DICTATE FURTHER UNDERMINES SOUTH AFRICA’S TRADE LAWS

 

By yielding to Washington’s AGOA dictate, South Africa opened itself up to abolish the basis of working trade laws. Cases upon cases will come up to enforce the abuse of South Africa’s trade laws, as it cannot discriminate between trading partners. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

 

Referring to AGOA, the South African Poultry Association’s CEO, Kevin Lovell explained to members of the media, “We knew it would hurt our industry, but realised that we had to come to an agreement for the greater good of South Africa.”

 

Is South Africa’s trade minister, Rob Davies, actually aware of the above-mentioned implications, as AGOA goes ahead?

 

Meanwhile, the AGOA status remains under threat, despite the signed agreement in place. Is this not a food war against BRICS member, South Africa? It is insane.

 

South Africa’s civil society needs to take immediate action, alerting consumers nationwide of possibly contaminated poultry imports. AGOA is a shocking, one-sided deal.

 

Advertisements

In the Times of the “Arab Spring”, “Regime Change”, “Pro-Democracy Revolts”, “Civil- and Tribal Wars”, “Genocide and Xenophobia” enforced “Governments of National Unity (GNU)” and Neo-Colonial International Western Global Expansionism and Resources Grab … how safe is Africa?

By Udo W. Froese, independent political- and socio-economic analyst and published columnist in Johannesburg, South Africa; Harare, Zimbabwe; Mbabane, Swaziland and Windhoek, Namibia.

 

Let’s first begin with a brief overview of Africa’s regions, countries and states at risk. All of them are directly exposed to real security risks.

 

The globally propagandised “Arab Spring” was thoroughly prepared and eventually executed in Arabic North Africa and the Mid East.

 

This columnist’s reliable contacts inform that despite a huge global propaganda campaign against Col. Muammar Khadafy, he remains popular among a great part of Libya’s population. Many Libyans view the “pro-democracy rebels” as criminals. They say, those “rebels” represent only themselves and their hands are covered with the blood of their kith and kin.

 

It is observed that there is a groundswell in Tripoli that still supports Col. Khadafy. However, they fear for their lives, hiding in their backyards. The major factor in NATO’s efforts to make a contribution to “nation building” in Libya, as the British cynic and former Prime Minister, Tony Blair described NATO’s bombing in a BBC TV interview, is actually the blatant grab of Libya’s oil fields, sharing the loot.

 

In fact, no one bought the line that NATO’s “humane bombing for democracy” of Libya’s population is to force a ‘regime change’ for the “pro-democratic” and “oppressed” peoples of Libya. This is a mere fig leaf to cover NATO’s illegal and illegitimate bombing of a souvereign country and its population.

 

NATO’s bombs brought the NTC into Tripoli. The international West is hell bent to enforce a pro-international Western democracy throughout the world, whatever it takes. Political observers in that region point out that NATO would remain in power in Libya for ten years.

 

Libya will receive a new constitution, similar to the divided Sudan.

This is damning and could befall the African continent like a vicious plague, particularly as African heads-of-state are viewed with the same respect as a community leader from Zola, a zoned area in the township of Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa.

 

In that light the African Union (AU), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in the southern African region and Ecowas would actually have no option, but to unanimously condemn those brutal wars with their inevitable and subsequent resource-grab. In return, Libya’s oil should now be declared blood oil. Africa needs to stand its ground.

 

Foreign created and guided terrorist wars, packaged as “civil wars, tribal wars, genocide and xenophobia” waged throughout Africa, including in Central Africa – in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) against its murdered president Laurent Kabila. The DRC’s Northeast province was destabilised when foreign armed and guided terrorist bands went on a bloody rampage.

 

Kabila’s son, Joseph Kabila followed in his father’s footsteps and is the incumbent head-of-state. The DRC should be used to foreign manipulated ‘regime changes’, bearing its history in mind. The first democratically elected head-of-state, Patrice Lumumba, was simply murdered and the one-man-dictator, Mobutu Sese Seko, was installed as “president-for-life” of Zaire (DRC today).

 

Sudan had to give in to foreign-mastered terrorist wars in its south, which eventually secessionized the South from the main country of Sudan and became an “independent, souvereign” South Sudan, the youngest country on the African continent. Both countries had to compile a new constitution and restructure the ownership of the oil fields.

 

Countries having undergone “regime changes” in West Africa were Ghana under Kwame Nkrumah, Liberia under Charles Taylor and Cote d’Ivoire under Laurent Gbagbo. In addition, Dutch and Swiss corporations dumped toxic waste in the water resource for the Ivorian capital, Abidjan, killing many locals as widely reported.

 

Another popular international Western interventionist change of governments is the dictate through, amongst others, sanctions, then lobbied by agents of the neo-colonial expansionists. Those outcomes are called “governments of national unity (gnu)”. Kenya in East Africa under president Mwai Kibaki had to succumb to just that, when he had to accommodate Raila Odinga as Prime Minister.

Southern Africa has its own security risks, though similar to above-mentioned regions, where Madagascar underwent a “regime change”, when a young DJ and his “orange movement for democracy” toppled the president.

 

In the case of Swaziland, foreign steered nation-wide protests organised amongst others, by South African trade unionists and “civil societies” against King Mswati III are repeatedly launched with the committed support from an amoral gutter media with its own hidden agendas.

 

Then, of course, there is Zimbabwe. Its president Robert Mugabe and the ruling ZANU-PF party are pet hates of the Caucasian Judeo-Christian civilised international West and their paid-up minions, who cannot forget their exclusive and abundant privileges they enjoyed under their hero, the late Ian Smith. They therefore, continuously express their tendentious, neo-colonial, racist hatred of the African-Zimbabwean president in their media, trying to smear him with all the opportunistic dirt they can pull from their gutters. Racial hatred based on confused opportunism is the real cause hereof.

 

Mugabe’s sharp intellect, his hands-on information and ZANU-PF’s defiance of neo-colonial-racist international Western efforts to grab the country’s resources, showing the black middle finger to a neo-liberal pink-white face seems unforgivably embarrassing.

 

The foreign interests embarrassed themselves even more when they insisted on a “government of national unity (gnu)” and had their MDC-T’s Morgan Tsvangirai included as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, similar to Raila Odinga with his “Orange Democratic Movement” in Kenya.

 

That move demonstrated to the world that Tsvangirai simply couldn’t deliver. On urgent request of his government, Tsvangirai had repeatedly called for the unconditional and immediate lifting of all sanctions against Zimbabwe. However, no one listened and the sanctions remain in place. Even his “friends” in the West now describe the poor man as “intellectually challenged, needing their guidance”. Zimbabweans now ask, why would they vote for such failure? Is this the reason why the international West wants to postpone democratic elections in Zimbabwe?

 

Zimbabwe, Kenya, Sudan and the DRC have three common sins: (i) they have real wealth of resources, not a paper currency only, (ii) look east towards China for investments and business and (iii) are well educated and seriously informed, therefore think for themselves. They too have access to intelligence information and understand the corporatisation that established globalisation.

 

Yes, believe it or not, Africa has smelled that rat and it stinks.

 

The foreign interests in Africa divided this continent into five regions: North Africa; East Africa; West Africa; Central Africa and Southern Africa. Then they set up their bulwarks – geo-strategically positioned countries in these various regions to control them through a host of influence mechanisms.

 

However, even the stooges of the neo-colonial Expansionistas, also known as Trojan Horses in their regions, cannot be sure that they too will fall foul of their masters in future. Those African countries currently enjoy the support of their foreign “friends” as they receive more aid, easier access to markets and finance and are not exposed to harsh international sanctions implemented by the UN Security Council.

 

All of this is not a debate for democracy and all its “freedoms”. It’s an ‘in your face’, hard-core greed of unscrupulous, psychopathic megalomaniacs serving a global elite exclusively. They bully Africa’s resources from the original landowners in turn for the countries’ debts with the World Bank-IMF. The fruits of Africa’s resources and cheap labour are used to manage such debt, a debt manipulated by the owners of the Breton Woods institutes. It makes any growth impossible. We live in the time of a global financial and debt Armageddon.

End.