21 Sep South Africa to host US trade forum as diplomatic tensions subside
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa will host a meeting in November of nations participating in the U.S. Africa Growth and Opportunity Act despite earlier calls to exclude the country from the forum due to its ties to Russia and the docking of a sanctioned Russian vessel near Cape Town last year.
AGOA is U.S. legislation that allows sub-Saharan African countries duty-free access to the U.S. market provided they meet certain conditions, including that they “must eliminate barriers to U.S. trade and investment, enact policies to reduce poverty, combat corruption, and protect human rights.”
Earlier this year, some American lawmakers from both the Republican and Democratic parties urged Secretary of State Antony Blinken to move the meeting of the forum elsewhere following allegations that South Africa supplied arms to Russia for its war in Ukraine.
They said moving the meeting to a different country would send a message that the United States would not accept its trading partners aiding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and questioned South Africa’s eligibility to receive trade benefits from AGOA.
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