Throughout history, international trade has generated considerable controversy. While conceding that some trade was imperative, Aristotle observed that trade was disruptive of community life. Until the 19th Century, most European powers viewed trade as a form of undeclared warfare. Their objective was - and still remains - the maximization of benefits accruing to themselves and minimization of those accruing to rival nations. The weapons of choice in this warfare were import barriers.
This Sunday, trade representatives from member states of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) will meet their counterparts from the United States in Walvis Bay, to resume negotiations for a bilateral Free Trade Agreement, expected to be concluded by the end of this year.