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SA asked US to ‘back away’ from punitive tariffs

The country has been hit by steel and aluminium tariffs and the detrimental effect could be exacerbated if they are extended to the automotive industry.
'We are collateral damage in a war you are fighting with someone else, in a war not of our making,' Rob Davies, Minister of Trade and Industry has said to the US. Picture: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

South Africa has asked the US to not implement punitive tariffs that could make its economy collateral damage in the trade war with China, according to the nation’s trade minister Rob Davies.

“We are asking the US to back away and not to subject us to this,” said Davies in an interview in Bloomberg’s Johannesburg office on Tuesday. “We are collateral damage in a war you are fighting with someone else, in a war not of our making.”

South Africa has been hit by steel and aluminium tariffs and the detrimental effect could be exacerbated if they are extended to the automotive industry, which the minister said accounts for about 7% of South Africa’s economy. In response, the nation could remove US poultry concessions, though that is subject to a court application by South African producers and may not be a decision that is taken directly by government, Davies said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.

Farming goods

Local producers are putting pressure on the government to retaliate and place tariffs on imports of beef, poultry and pork from the US In 2016, South Africa retained preferential access for its farming goods to the world’s biggest market under the African Growth and Opportunity Act after meeting benchmarks set by former US President Barack Obama to allow the import and sale of US meat products.

More than a third of US imports from South Africa in 2017 was covered by AGOA, with transportation equipment including cars and components being the biggest contributor.

Further tariffs on South African produced vehicles and components that are currently part of the AGOA deal would hurt the local manufacturing industry and lead to a job losses, Davies said. That may harden calls for South Africa to retaliate, he said.

“If you take out autos, iron and steel and you take out aluminium, what is the remaining value for us of AGOA,” he said. “This is not just a one-way street and our constituents will respond and who knows where that will take us.”

© 2018 Bloomberg L.P

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Why not do deals with the governments friends then. Say the UAE, Saudi, China, India, Russia, Brazil, and dump the import of brine injected poultry from the USA. South Africa was warned time and again not to enter the AGOA agreement, so the losers will only be those who are taking a backhand, if any are there, and since we have friends in so many obscure places instead of those we need in the first world, let us see if you have the balls to pull this through for South Africa’s benefit and not just for the State capturers Minister Davis. Anything the government now says or does needs to be scrutinised with a huge magnifying glass.

….very true….however the economy of the RSA is less than one third of that of Turkey…one can imagine those countries not wanting to bail out the fowl up Davies has got himself into

Ah….comrade rob Davies is on his knees begging the real baas for mercy. The baas is global capital…not the great Party.

And with sa s extreme anti us votes at the un annoying the baas why should they care.

Remember your friends Com Rob….Gaddafi saddam fidelity. They can’t help your dying mines with 1000s of job losses coming. But the baas he could.. but then you will do as the bbaas says.

Get the message…global and US money run the planet. Not a 1960s job loss creator like you!

The US will have little sympathy with countries that (mostly) vote against them in the UN Security Council.

So to compensate, SA Govt better increase trade with Cuba, Libya, Palestine & Venezuela…

Indeed. Birds of a feather……

Mr.Davies why are you worried about the USA and the trade wars, it create. The SA economy in the bigger picture, is a blip on the radar.Was this not why you and your other fellow BRICS comrades, created this new financial order?

When one looks up “irony” in the dictionary, one is confronted with a picture of Rob Davies (sporting his SA flag scarf) complaining about the outrageous idea of import tariffs on South African manufactured vehicles, when the entire SA auto industry only exists because of rampant protectionism and tariffs.

Indeed, SA motor manuf industry enjoys high import tariff protection (but sometime in the future, when SA is not in a position to repay Chinese loans to Eskom & other SOE’s….China will give SA a choice of either dropping import tariffs of Chinese vehicles, or cease future loans. The consequences are either an ANC-govt not able to pay Govt salaries & SASSA grants (goodbye ANC), or say goodbye to local car industry.

When one visits a car-trade website like Autopapa.com in Tbilisi (Georgia), and convert their imported cars back to ZAR…even with their 19% VAT, on average a used car costs on average 50% to 40% less compared to local car sites.

NO WONDER vehicle FINANCING (up to 6 yrs + residual/balloon) is a major phenomenon in SA…otherwise 99% of Saffas would not be able to buy a new car at inflated cost.

The anc does not even have a faintest dam clue in how bad state our country’s economy is. At this stage we are the beggars but at the same time we want to be the choosers – direct result of the anc’s idea that the world owes them something and they are sitting and waiting for the gift to arrive. Keep in mind: for the USA the rsa is hardly on any kind of a map. In the much better economical days of rsa +/- 22 years ago the anc got stuck on the idea that rsa is the USA of Africa and will be it for ever – fatal mistake if you can’t keep up with the rest of the world in education, modern technology and be part of the 3rd or 4th technology revolution. It is this country’s minister rob davies who dare to dictate / plea / ask / demand from the usa not to implement punitive tariffs because the USA is in an economical fight with china but it directly effect rsa’s economy – the same country who vote against the USA in the UN Security Council another – fatal mistake again by rob davies & co. At this stage davies can expect an answer from the USA like:”see the worry about your country in our navy blue USA eyes”. The same rsa crowd recently proudly announced that the government /anc is looking at countries like venezuela (with a credit rating of junk status and 100% bankrupt) for business deals – to get what out of these “deals”???? More bad debts???? Another fatal mistake of the current government is that they simply cannot distinguish between foreign long-term loans and foreign long-term investments (eskom loan etc). At the end of the day I stick to:” Talk is cheap(especially political trash talks), Money buys the Whiskey”

begging with the one hand…while stealing these investors property ( expropriation ) with the other. USA is not stupid…how does these people think?

End of comments.

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