President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday slammed nations that act unilaterally in trade deals and ignore World Trade Organisation rules.
Ramaphosa gave the opening speech at the Brics business forum in Johannesburg.
Chinese President Xi Jinping concurred and warned that protectionism is on the increase.
China and the United States – the world’s two largest economies - are waging a trade war.
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, also speaking at the Brics Business Forum, said South Africa is becoming collateral damage, and that it needed to strengthen trade ties with the rest of Africa.
Bank of China Chair Chen Siqing said that Brics collaboration can be a solution to the challenge of de-globalisation.
Leslie Maasdorp of the Brics Bank warned that the path taken by Trump will see the US become increasingly isolated.
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