IMPORTANT: Will the USA punish South Africa & cause massive job losses? – 150 000 jobs at risk as US House tables Bilateral Relations Bill

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ANC’s efforts to align country closer with Russia over our other trade partners have jeopardised country’s access to Agoa

150 000 jobs at risk as US House tables Bilateral Relations Bill

10 April 2024

ActionSA notes with alarm the US Bilateral Relations Bill, tabled in the US House of Representatives, which could threaten more than 150,000 South Africa jobs at home.

The bill, which will be tabled this month, seeks a determination on whether South Africa has undermined U.S. national security or foreign policy interests. This could lead to the non-renewal of the Africa Growth and Opportunities Act (Agoa), which will cost South Africa dearly.

South Africa is part of Agoa, which gives us preferential trade access to the US markets. South Africa exported goods worth R65.9bn to the US under Agoa in 2023. This trade represents 3.2% of South Africa’s total exports and supports over 150,000 South African jobs.

Yet, the ANC’s efforts to align the country closer with Russia over our other trade partners have jeopardised South Africa’s access to Agoa. This directly threatens dozens of industries and puts these 150,000 jobs at risk.

In a country which has the highest youth unemployment in the world, South Africa gains nothing from antagonising the West to get closer to the East and BRICS. We can play both sides and benefit from it.

Furthermore, losing Agoa and cosying up to Russia could harm investment inflows into South Africa, which will further cripple the economy, worsen unemployment, and reduce our development prospects.

South Africa’s trade relationship with the US is pivotal to the economy and jobs in the country. South Africa exported R258bn in goods to the US in 2023, which accounts for 12.6% of our total exports. By comparison, South Africa exported a mere R5.2bn to Russia in 2023, representing only 0.25% of South Africa’s total exports.

In fact, South Africa exported more goods to Malawi (R8.9bn), Turkey (R7.9bn) and Vietnam (R6.4bn) than it did to Russia in 2023. Yet, the ANC government is prioritising its relationship with Russia over other countries, to the detriment of the whole of South Africa.

ActionSA believes the government needs to work for South Africans, not just the ANC’s interests and ideological dogma. The government should support local businesses, entrepreneurs, and the country’s citizens. Solving South Africa’s unemployment crisis should be the government’s first priority, and losing our preferential trade status with the US directly works against this.

Source: https://www.politicsweb.co.za/politics/150-000-jobs-at-risk-as-us-house-tables-bilateral-?utm_source=Politicsweb+Daily+Headlines&utm_campaign=87e27e6694-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2024_04_10_04_35&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_-87e27e6694-%5BLIST_EMAIL_ID%5D



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