Sen. Chris Coons, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a cofounder of the Senate Chicken Caucus, raised concerns during the July 17 Foreign Relations Committee nominations hearing about the export of U.S. poultry to South Africa.

The line of questioning was directed at Lana Marks, nominee to serve as U.S. ambassador to South Africa, during a hearing to fill five state department positions in Africa.

“During the reauthorization of AGOA, I worked closely with my friend and colleague Sen. Isakson to eliminate long-standing barriers to the export of U.S. poultry in the South African market.” said Coons. “Today, poultry producers in my home state of Delaware as well as many other states are now benefiting from a quota of U.S. poultry into South Africa that are excluded from an anti-dumping tariff, and South Africa is now one of the top 10 export markets for U.S. poultry. But there are some recent tensions — understandable discomfort or unhappiness — on the part of South Africans with the steel and aluminum tariffs that were applied by the administration, as well as pressure from domestic producers in South Africa. How will you work to sustain this critical market opportunity? I heard your passion for keeping markets open. Will you focus on this one in particular?"

Video of the hearing is available at