American chickens’ fate is very hard in Russia. There has recently been a chicken controversy with the prohibition of the American poultry import in Russia, now the American production will have to face more problems again.
The newspaper Vedomosti wrote that the committee of the Russian government for protective measures in the field of the foreign trade was working on the decision to raise the import duty on poultry. The reason why was rather up-to-date: the Russian poultry association started the preliminary probe concerning the damage that was caused to Russian poultry farmers with the import of poultry. It goes without saying that the government could not but pay its attention to the activity of “chicken lobbyists.” German Gref, the Minister for Economic Development and Trade, said that that the import duty on poultry will get a one-third raise during the period of the mentioned probe – 8.3% more will be added to the functioning duty of 25%.
Protection is a very good thing in some situations, but only if those protective measures are beneficial both to producers and consumers. For the time being, as American experts said, the increase of the import duty by 8.3% will result in the ten percent growth on the import poultry, which had already become more expensive (by 25-30%) after the restriction of “Bush’s legs” import in March. Russian poultry became 10-20% as expensive over the same period of time. On the other hand, American experts’ opinion is not the ultimate truth at the end of the day. The USA is the major poultry exporter to Russia and the information, which was mentioned above, could be biased.
Anyway, there is another threat for the USA: the States have a little bit less than a month left until the coordination of the new vet certificate with Russia. The previous certificate contradicted to Russian laws and sanitary norms, as the Russian Agricultural Ministry believed. And if the certificate is not coordinated by August 1, then Russia could suspend the import of American poultry again.
But will the import be suspended indeed? Americans can remind Russia of the notorious Jackson-Vanik amendment again. American senators have not yet made such a present, in spite of the fact that George Bush promised to cancel it before his visit to Russia. The Russian government could settle this issue for itself – whether it was going to restrict the import of American poultry or not. At present moment there is an impression that someone is getting very rich behind the “Bush’s legs” controversy.
Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
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