South Africa has become "collateral damage" in the trading war involving mainly the United States, China, Canada and the European Union, with tariffs imports on its steel exports, Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies said on Wednesday.
Global tensions have flared up as other countries hit back against duties imposed by US President Donald Trump who says his country has for years had a raw deal from its trading partners.
"We are not party to the trading wars but many of us have been affected by the measures," Davies told journalists on Wednesday on the sidelines of the 10th summit of the BRICS grouping which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
He said Washington had imposed tariffs on South African steel producers, despite the country accounting for less than one percent in sales of the alloy to the US.
"We are very much non-combatants in this. Non-combatant collateral damage is where we find ourselves," Davies said.