EU trade agreements with the USA and Russia’s economic influence in Africa
US and European officials are agreeing to outline a limited trade agreement that will allow EU companies to benefit from some of the provisions in new US legislation (Inflation Reduction Act). The agreement is expected to address key minerals used in electric vehicle batteries, such as lithium and nickel. Currently, for companies to receive tax relief, vehicles must be assembled in North America and come from that continent or from countries with which the US has a free trade agreement, which the US has not signed with the European Union.
The Dutch government will restrict the export of the “most advanced” microchip technology to protect national and international security. The American-influenced restrictions affect the products of ASML, a key company in the global microchip supply chain. The decision mainly targets China – according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs there, the Dutch move is aimed at denying China the right to develop.
As part of its search for diplomatic support in Africa, the Russian government donated 20 000 t of fertilisers produced by the Uralchem-Uralkali plant to Malawi. In total, Russia is expected to donate 260,000t of fertiliser to African countries for leaders there to push for lifting international sanctions against Russia at the second Russia-Africa summit in July this year. At the UN session in October 2022, Malawi voted to condemn Russia for annexing parts of Ukraine’s territories. More than 15 other African countries abstained at the time.