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US group calls for punitive action against South Africa over Russia relationship – report reveals



US group wants SA punished for its Russia relationship

The New York Times reports that a US group wants SA punished for its Russia relationship. According to the paper, these American lawmakers have requested the relocation of the Agoa trade conference, scheduled to be held in South Africa this year, to another country. As per Eyewitness News, they made this request in a letter sent by the group of politicians last week, marking the first concrete effort at retaliation by members of the US government over concerns regarding South Africa’s relationship with Russia and its potential impact on America’s national interests.

The letter focuses on the annual forum for the African Growth and Opportunity Act, widely known as Agoa. This act grants duty-free access to the US trade market for approximately three dozen African nations. As one of the continent’s most developed economies, South Africa is the largest beneficiary of Agoa, exporting about $3 billion worth of goods to the United States through this program last year.

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The call to move the Agoa trade conference from South Africa reflects the growing concerns among some US lawmakers regarding the country’s alignment with Russia. These concerns are the reaction to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, where Russia’s actions have drawn international criticism. The American lawmakers argue that South Africa’s perceived support for Russia’s actions damages the shared values and interests between South Africa and the United States.

Requiring punitive measures against South Africa highlights the complexities and interplay between geopolitical dynamics and international trade relationships. The Agoa trade conference, which serves as a platform for fostering economic cooperation and discussing trade-related issues, now becomes caught in the broader political stage of South Africa’s foreign policy choices.


The Biden administration has not responded to this request, and whether it will pursue disciplinary actions against South Africa remains to be seen. These deliberations will impact the Agoa conference, the broader relationship between the United States and South Africa, and regional trade dynamics within Africa.

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Picture: Twitter / s_hnizdovskyi

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