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Following a worrying debacle where the U.S. threatened to throw South Africa out of its preferential trade program over its refusal to allow the importation of American chickens, the South Africa and American governments reached an accord earlier in January to allow trade of American chicken products. The end-of-year talks dealt with South African health concerns.

Some estimates showed that the loss of South Africa's preferential trading status with the United States would cost the country more than $170m a year, which exports a respectable amount of citrus fruits, wine and nuts.