China, Russia ties with Africa may pose a new trade war threat for the US

National Security Advisor John Bolton is sounding the alarm on China and Russia’s massive investment encroaching on the African continent.

Continue Reading Below

“The predatory practices pursued by China and Russia stunt economic growth in Africa, threaten the financial independence of African nations, inhibit opportunities for U.S. investment, interfere with U.S. military operations and pose a significant threat to U.S. national security interests,” Bolton said Thursday in a speech unveiling the Trump Administration's Africa strategy at the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington.

Under Bolton’s new “Prosper Africa” strategy, the U.S. will take on those threats by reinforcing economic ties with Africa.

“I think this is a positive in that we have a great opportunity in Africa to expand traded investment,” former U.S. trade representative Michael Froman told FOX Business’ Liz Claman.

Bolton said China and Russia are rapidly implanting their financial and political imprint in Africa to gain a competitive advantage over the U.S.

From 2016-2017, China’s foreign direct investment toward Africa totaled $6.4 billion dollars. Russia is pushing its own arms and energy on the continent by extracting natural resources from the region for its own benefit, according to Bolton.

Froman suggests for the U.S. to invest in “building capacity” in Africa to establish a better relationship with the continent’s governments.

“We are not just there to take extractive resources out of the continent. We can be there to invest in human capital and human resources in the continent and therefore have greater influence there as well,” he said.