Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



The Evans Amendment is an example of legislation that had the opposite effect of that which was congressionally intended. The Amendment was designed as a compromise to keep the Eximbank in South Africa, but its effect has been the termination of Eximbank activity in that country.

The United States exporters that expected to be hurt by the termination of Bank activity have apparently been largely unaffected because of the availability of other financing sources, particularly within South Africa. As a result, foreign competitors with uninterrupted financing support from their own governments have failed to make significant inroads into the business of United States exporters in South Africa that were formerly supported by the Eximbank. From 1978 to 1980, United States exports to South Africa rose by 128 percent--a favorable increase when compared to those experienced by the United Kingdom, West Germany, Japan, France, and Italy.

The effect of the Evans Amendment on employment practices in South Africa is as yet undetermined, although it is known that between nineteen and twenty-four companies considered their practices progressive enough to apply for certification under the original State Department questionnaire, with three more companies having applied under the revised questionnaire. United States companies, however, have stated that the Amendment did not cause them to urge South African purchasers to change their employment practices.

The Evans Amendment probably has had very little real effect on the policies of the South African Government, particularly with respect to the elimination of apartheid and the attainment of majority rule. The congressional condemnation of apartheid in the form of the Evans Amendment probably had a significant psychological impact on the South African Government, although it remains to be seen whether the Evans Amendment will ultimately be viewed as an isolated instance of legislative initiative or as the first significant step taken by the United States Government in its attempts to persuade the South Africans to adopt majority rule.