US President Donald Trump reportedly signed proclamations permitting targeted relief from steel and aluminium quotas from countries including South Korea, Brazil and Argentina and on aluminium from Argentina. Photo: AP

JOHANNESBURG – South Africa has been left out of countries to receive relief from steel and aluminium tariffs from US President Donald Trump's administration.

This is after Trump reportedly signed proclamations permitting targeted relief from steel and aluminium quotas from countries including South Korea, Brazil and Argentina and on aluminium from Argentina.

South Africa was among developing countries affected by tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminium imports introduced by Washington in March.

South Africa's exclusion from the list of countries receiving relief from the tariffs comes as Trump is engaged in messy trade disputes with China and Turkey.

Trump has trained his guns on South Africa, tweeting recently that he had asked his secretary of state to “closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large-scale killing of farmers” – apparently drawing on an inaccurate Fox News report.

The government did not take kindly to the tweet, and reportedly met US government officials in Pretoria over the “unfortunate comments” by Trump. Attempts to get comment from Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies and his spokesperson Sidwell Medupe were unsuccessful.

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- BUSINESS REPORT