- Relations between the Trump administration and SA have historically been strained
- In 2017 SA was listed as one of the 10 least supportive countries of the Trump-led administration
- Relations between the two look set to worsen
Ramaphosa has shown he is not the greatest Trump fan on more than one occasion. In 2017 SA was listed as one of the least supportive countries of the Trump administration and our President has been very vocal in his disappointment at Trump’s withdrawal from Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.
This is in contradiction with the country’s Ramaphosa-led government which is primed to expand trade with Iran.
Predictions are now in that this relationship could go from strained to down-right sour with SA’s latest decision to recall its ambassador to Israel. This decision was made by the government in light of over 50 Palestinians being killed after they protested the relocation of the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
This decision by SA is a risky move on the part of our President, as our country benefits significantly from extensive trade agreements with the States.
Trump’s announcement that South Africa wouldn’t be given exemption from his recent unilateral hikes in tariffs on US imports of steel and aluminium could cost the country almost 7500 jobs and, says John J Stremlau, Visiting Professor of International Relations, University of the Witwatersrand, “the impact on the country’s economy could be far worse if Trump moves against South African manufactured products that currently enjoy special access to US markets under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).”
In favour of the little guy
Trump should tread carefully though, adds Stremlau, as many could see SA vs the States as a case of David vs Goliath, with many favouring the little guy.
Not one to back down from a fight, Ramaphosa has his own plans in place and, in an attempt to uphold the iconic Nelson Mandela on the 100th birthday of this legend, has lobbied for SA’s bid for another two-year term on the security council. It is believed that this will be affirmed next month.
In addition, it has been arranged the Barack Obama will visit SA to deliver the annual Mandela lecture which will also serve to highlight the vast differences between Trump and Mandela. There are numerous other elements which could see support for Ramaphosa increase.
Briefly.co.za recently reported in an article called Numsa boss Irvin Jim calls President Cyril Ramaphosa SA’s Donald Trump, that:
- Numsa secretary general Irvin Jim has accused President Ramaphosa of selling out black people to white monopoly capital
- He told a crowd at a Worker’s Day rally in Bloemfontein that Ramaphosa was the Trump of South Africa
- Jim accused Ramaphosa of failing the working class
National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) secretary general Irvin Jim has accused President Cyril Ramaphosa of selling out black people in South Africa to white monopoly capital and labeled the president as South Africa’s Donald Trump.
Jim addressed the crowd at a South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) Worker’s Day rally in Bloemfontein on Tuesday. Jim said Ramaphosa was supervising the exploitation of black labour in the country.
“If he was serious about the minimum wage, he would tell those bosses to open the books so we can see how much they are making. Ramaphosa represents white monopoly capital in South Africa," he said.
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