U.S. News & World Report:
Once a largely neglected region of the world, sub-Saharan Africa has quietly become the center of a struggle for influence between what are arguably the world’s chief powers: China and the United States.
There is no overstating the stakes, given the abundant natural resources Africa has to sustain the needs of growing economies throughout the world, including metals like bauxite, used for its aluminum; platinum, used in catalytic converters, lab equipment and dentistry tools; and nickel, used in batteries, magnets and stainless steel.
Yet in a deep and troubling sense, the United States is trailing China, whose economic ties in Africa are deep.
To get a sense of how badly the United States is behind, consider a few key indicators. In 2013, for example, trade between China and Africa totaled roughly $200 billion, with Chinese electronics goods and textiles flowing into African nations, while African natural resources were shipped off to China. Remarkably, Chinese-African trade was more than double the trade level between the United States and Africa.
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