South Africa: Current Issues and U.S. Relations [Updated January 31, 2008]   [open pdf - 332KB]

This report discusses the current relationship between the U.S. and South Africa including cooperation in fighting terrorism, trade and diplomatic concerns. There is also a brief background of U.S.- South Africa relations, as well as a discussion on HIV/AIDS, crime, arms deals, land reform and the African National Congress. From the report: "South Africa has one of the largest HIV/AIDS populations in the world, with between 5.3 and 6.2 million South Africans reportedly HIV positive. The Mbeki government's policy on HIV/AIDS has been controversial. The country has weathered a series of corruption scandals, and continues to struggle with high crime and unemployment rates. Nevertheless, South Africa is currently experiencing its longest period of steady economic growth, and analysts expect the government's widely praised economic reform program to show substantial results. U.S. relations with South Africa are cordial, and South Africa has benefitted from export opportunities offered under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA, P.L. 106-200). However, the U.S. and South African administrations have expressed differences with respect to the situations in Zimbabwe, Iran, and Iraq, and U.S. officials have articulated frustration with the South African government on positions it has taken while serving on the United Nations Security Council. This report will be updated as significant changes occur. Related CRS reports include CRS Report RL33584, AIDS in Africa, by Nicolas Cook; CRS Report RL32723, Zimbabwe, by Lauren Ploch; as well as CRS Report RL31772, U.S. Trade and Investment Relationship with Sub-Saharan Africa: The African Growth and Opportunity Act and Beyond and CRS Report RS21387, United States-Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Free Trade Agreement Negotiations: Background and Potential Issues, by Danielle Langton."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL31697
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