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Bipartisan Bill Calling For Review Of US-South Africa Relations Passes Through Committee

3 weeks agoFri, 29 Mar 2024 17:20:51 GMT
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Bipartisan Bill Calling For Review Of US-South Africa Relations Passes Through Committee

Last week, Representatives John James and Jared Moskowitz skillfully guided the bipartisan U.S.-South Africa Bilateral Relations Review Act through the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The bill, which aims to evaluate and enhance the relationship between the United States and South Africa, received a favourable vote in committee with a tally of 36-13.

Representative James, who chairs the Subcommittee on Africa, emphasized the significance of South Africa’s role on the African continent.

He expressed pride in the longstanding cordial relations between the United States and South Africa, highlighting the latter’s status as the largest U.S. trading partner in Africa since 2014.

However, James also voiced concerns about the current alignment of the African National Congress (ANC) with China, and Russia, and their embrace of Hamas following the devastating October 7th attacks. He said:

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As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Africa, I am acutely aware of South Africa’s important role on the African continent, and I am proud that the United States has held cordial relations with South Africa for nearly my entire life.

South Africa has been the United States’ largest trading partner in Africa since 2014 and is home to over 600
American businesses.

However, it is clear to me that the ANC of today is no longer the party of Nelson Mandela and I am greatly concerned with South Africa’s alignment with China and Russia and embracement of Hamas in the wake of the devastating October 7th attacks.

It is important to show the South African people that the United States are paying attention, and I am proud that the committee passed this bipartisan legislation.

Representative Moskowitz echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the importance of reviewing relationships with nations that may not share American values.

He expressed hope that South Africa would reconsider its alignment with Russia and China. Said Moskowitz:

South African officials have made a miscalculation by aligning themselves with Russia and China. It is in our national security interests for the United States to review our relationships with nations that may not share our values and align themselves with such actors.

My hope is that they choose otherwise. I’m proud to have worked with Chairman McCaul and Congressman James on this bill and that there is strong bipartisan support among our colleagues.

The bill now heads to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to be considered by the whole House.

If the comprehensive review determines that South Africa’s actions undermine U.S. national security or foreign policy interests, South Africa could be removed from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

AGOA provides eligible African countries with preferential trade benefits, and exclusion would impact South Africa’s access to the U.S. market.

Findings against South Africa might hinder existing public health collaborations and regional development programs.

More: Pindula News

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