Adds Bradlow “The US is also pulling back from multilateral governance arrangements that it created. For example, it withdrew from the upcoming United Nations (UN) conference on migration and from the UN Human Rights Council. And Washington is effectively paralysing the World Trade Organisation (WTO) by refusing to agree to the appointment of new judges at the WTO Appellate Body.
“These developments are creating a volatile and unpredictable situation for all countries. Small players on the global stage, like South Africa and other countries on the continent, face the prospect of becoming collateral damage in the destruction of the current global governance arrangements.”
South Africa’s trade and industry minister, Rob Davies, says says this year’s Forum provides an important platform to discuss how to preserve the AGOA preferences, as well as, how the programme can support regional integration efforts in the continent, especially the regional value chains in light of the recent signature of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement. Davies emphasises that AGOA has resulted in a relatively balanced, growing, diversified and mutually beneficial trade relationship between South Africa and the United States.
The theme for this year’s Forum is “Forging New Strategies for U.S.-Africa Trade and Investment”. The forum will focus on the implementation of AGOA, as well as, strategies for deepening the U.S.-Sub-Saharan Africa trade and investment relationship.