Innocent Bystanders: Why the U.S.-China Trade War Hurts African Economies



Judd Devermont & Catherine Chiang | Center for Strategic & International Studies

A trade war is being stoked between the two largest economies of the world. The consequences will affect those who have had no say, including small countries like Ghana . . . These events provide proof, if some were needed, that ours is an interdependent world. – President of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly, President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana warned of the repercussions of escalating U.S.-China trade tensions on African nations. Although largely absent from the discourse surrounding the so-called “trade war,” subSaharan Africa has suffered from its impacts. Uncertainty hovering over global and African markets has already undermined investor confidence, triggering drops in commodity prices and local currencies. A slowdown in Chinese production and global growth could threaten to throw African markets further off balance.

U.S. protectionist measures stand out for their repercussions on African economies and U.S.-Africa relations. Tariff tensions risk indirectly undercutting U.S. goals of promoting African self-reliance, increasing U.S.-Africa trade and investment, and countering China’s expanding influence on the continent.

Africa US China

[To read the original policy brief, click here.]

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