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THE US presidential elections are just around the corner, and the world has been watching closely as this year’s controversial campaigns have unfolded. Yet last week, when SA’s International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane was asked about her position on the US elections, she said she did not really care who wins. This raises the question: can Africa’s most sophisticated economy afford to ignore the US elections?While much of the discourse in SA, thus far, has centred on Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s xenophobic declarations, the potential effect of the election on US-SA trade relations cannot be ignored.US-SA trade is primarily governed by the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) that was passed by the US Congress in 2000 and extends preferential access for 37 African countries to export a wide range of goods to the US duty-free.Generally, there are concerns over unilateral trade regimes, such as Agoa, as they do not offer the beneficiary coun...

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