Should Africa fear Trump’s America First Policy?

Donald Trump’s “America First Policy” was widely criticized with beliefs that it will disrupt the country’s foreign policy and isolate U.S. from world leaders, but there are fears in Africa that the continent has been placed at a most disadvantaged position for growth.

China is alleged have gained “unmerited” favors from Mr. Trump’s protectionist policy delivered after his first year in office although it doesn’t appear so, merely because of signed trade agreements.

The US government announced it will levy a 30% tariff on imported solar panels supplied mostly from China. This percentage is expected to fall to about 15 in a period of four years.

Mr. Barack Obama in 2012 taxed Chinese solar panels because he worried that Xi Jinping’s administration was granting subsidies to its indigenous companies in order to secure competitive advantage against their American counterparts and thereby turn the US to a dumping ground.

To save American manufacturing companies from getting choked out of business, promote innovation, and provide jobs in the US, Mr. Trump’s America First Policy was considered a right move in many quarters despite negative criticisms from a group of pessimistic investment analysts.

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Some senior officials in Trump’s administration say there’s no need for world leaders to panic, stressing the African continent is part of America’s policy target.

The US government says it intends to power on with Barack Obama’s brainchild, “Power Africa” which promises to alleviate poverty and raise hopes in the continent -although it appears not to be a top priority now.

With the biggest ever US delegation, President Donald Trump was scheduled to fly into the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland on Thursday. There, he would present his controversial America First policy to world business leaders.

Mr. Trump’s visit comes as the first by a US president since Bill Clinton in 2000 so, there are huge expectations that the 71-year-old president would most likely attract controversies, with a mixed feeling of appreciation and denigration from world leaders.

The president’s ongoing meeting appears to have more significance because Clinton’s visit was seen as part of an international  farewell tour at the end of his term. In comparison, Trump’s visit comes at the end of a controversial first year in power.

Protesters in Zurich have already taken to the streets and around the meeting venue to express their displeasure.

Speaking to newsmen on the controversies surrounding Mr. Trump’s use of executive powers, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross promoted the fruits of the President’s first year in office saying it ushered in growth, and adding that the world should not dread the America First policy as all it meant was US workers first and free, fair trade with the world.

“We have created 400 MW project in Ghana which is only a little over one per cent of what we have promised, but we are planning to go and visit Africa in the second quarter,” says Ross in response to CNBC Africa’s question on whether the US-backed infrastructure and energy building project would survive under the Trump administration.

DONALD J. TRUMP DELIVERS MAJOR FOREIGN POLICY ADDRESS

Africa is rejoicing that the Power Africa project will stay afloat but calls for added vigour from the White House for our frenzied celebrations to be worth it.