Cablegate: Media Reaction U.S./Africa Trade; Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. Under headline "U. S. should treat Africa as single
entity" the pro-government weekly "The Sunday Mirror"
dedicated its January 19 editorial to cautioning the United
States against the promotion of selective trade agreements,
warning that such agreements "have the potential to divide
Africa." Excerpts:

2. "The United States and five Southern African Customs
Union (SACU) members, last Monday agreed to start
negotiating a free trade agreement (FTA), which is designed
to lower trade barriers, open markets and stimulate
economic growth and development. U. S. trade
representative, Robert Zoellick, said the FTA between his
country and the five SACU countries "will provide new
opportunities for the peoples of all our countries, and
will particularly provide a boost to regional growth,
development and prosperity.' SACY, which comprises
Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland,
will no doubt benefit quite significantly from the
increased access to U. S. markets. But, as pointed out by
the secretary-general of the Common Market of East and
Southern Africa (COMESA), Erasmus Mwencha, such
negotiations have the potential to divide Africa and reduce
its ability to negotiate in future trade deals. . .Indeed,
such selective trade agreements do not fall in the way of
closer economic integration at the continental level, and
serve to put wedges and schisms in between individual
African countries and regional blocs, as they strive to win
favorable, exclusive concessions from powerful, rich


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