Bi- and multilateral trade relations between external actors and individual African states or regional blocs are becoming ever more decisive. The trade policies of both the USA and the EU are anything but helpful.
Free trade talks between the five members of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and the largest economy in the world have reached a dead end.
Throughout history, international trade has generated considerable controversy. While conceding that some trade was imperative, Aristotle observed that trade was disruptive of community life. Until the 19th Century, most European powers viewed trade as a form of undeclared warfare. Their objective was - and still remains - the maximization of benefits accruing to themselves and minimization of those accruing to rival nations. The weapons of choice in this warfare were import barriers.