“President” Trump will want his pound of flesh from SA… Tough renegotiations of AGOA likely

If Donald Trump returns to the White House for another stint as President of the US, he may want to renegotiate the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). And those could be tough negotiations because Trump would want his pound of flesh. So says Dr. Edward Mienie, the Executive Director of the Strategic Studies Programme & Partnerships and Professor of Strategic & Security Studies at the University of North Georgia in Atlanta. Dr Mienie, a former diplomat for both the National Party (NP) and the African National Congress (ANC) governments, speaks to BizNews as speculation mounts across the world that Trump could pull off another “unthinkable” political victory that would bring about significant shifts in US foreign policy. He says Trump is by far the most popular of the contenders of the Republican Party and that Democratic Party President Joe Biden is lagging. “If he (Trump) wins all of these court cases, or if they fall by the wayside, I’m predicting that it’s very likely that he’ll move into the White House. And it’ll be quite a story…” – Chris Steyn

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Relevant timestamps from the interview

  • 00:00 Introductions
  • 00:33 – How likely is it for trump to return to the White House
  • 05:38 – Trump won’t be to concerned about South Africa’s problems
  • 07:45 – Trump won’t  have as much tolerance as Biden
  • 08:41 – How will America’s foreign policy towards SA change
  • 11:13 – Conclusions

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Highlights from the interview

If Donald Trump returns to the White House for another stint of President of the United States of America, he may want to renegotiate the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

And those could be tough negotiations because Trump would want his pounds of flesh from South Africa.

These are the predictions from Dr Edward Mienie, the Executive Director of the Strategic Studies Program & Partnerships and Professor of Strategic & Security Studies at the University of North Georgia in Atlanta in the US.

Dr Mienie, a former diplomat for both the National Party (NP) and the African National Congress (ANC) governments, speaks to BizNews as speculation mounts across the world that Trump could pull of another “unthinkable” political victory that would bring about significant shifts in US foreign policy.

Speaking about how this could impact South Africa, Dr Mienie says: “…he embraces the America First policy, and he has a more protectionist stance.

“And actually, this could impact the African Growth and Opportunity Act. He likes to renegotiate trade agreements. He may renegotiate the AGOA Act…”

Dr Mienie points out that Trump is a “pretty hard negotiator”. 

“If I can put it this way, he demands his pound of flesh in these negotiations under the umbrella of America First. We can look forward to some tough negotiations…trade we desperately need. South Africa desperately needs foreign direct investment, good trade, strong trade relations with the stronger economies in the world to help South Africa.”

As for Trump’s likely overall foreign policy on South Africa, Dr Mienie says:  “I foresee that he will engage South Africa in some shape or form. But what that will look like will depend on our actions within the BRICS contexts…”

Dr Mienie suggests that the best possible outcome under a Trump presidency for South Africa would involve the country being more thoughtful in its own foreign policies. “And I’m hopeful that within the geopolitical context, South Africa will make wise decisions regarding their support of the Ukraine war or otherwise. I understand that South Africa embraces a neutral stance, but I’m not seeing that they’re neutral at all. They’re actually choosing a side. So we should keep in mind, you know, our values, our value system as individuals within South Africa are more aligned with the West, I would say. And we should give very deep thought about which direction we’re going.”

As for Trump’s chances of actually running America again, Dr Mienie says: “…he’s a real contender within the Republican Party. He is by far the most popular of the contenders.”

Dr Mienie notes that it’s a “strange phenomenon”. 

“He has four indictments against him. And it’s almost as though every time a new indictment comes his way, he gets even more popular within the Republican Party. So he is very focused on becoming the next President of the United States…So, depending on the outcome of these court cases, it will influence the election.

“For now, Trump has got a solid following – and he is way ahead of his contenders. (Democratic Party President Joe) Biden, as a matter of fact, in a recent CBS poll, is behind Trump, is lagging behind.

“So how likely is Trump to return to the White House? The way things stand today, he’s the most popular Republican. If he wins all of these court cases, or if they fall by the wayside, I’m predicting that it’s very likely that he’ll move into the White House. And it’ll be quite a story for somebody who has gone through so much to return to the White House.”

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