Donald Trump’s new SA ambassador Lana Marks talks trade, rugby and impeachment
On 4 October 2019 United States President Donald Trump swore in Eastern Cape native Lana Marks as his new ambassador to South Africa.
Marks is the founder of a wildly successful designer handbag line but has no experience in diplomacy or politics.
She is a member of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club and the two are reportedly closely acquainted.
Marks attended the Clarendon High School for Girls in East London and speaks Xhosa and Afrikaans.
She left South Africa for Bermuda in 1976 after marrying a British psychiatrist.
She moved to Palm Beach (Florida) in 1987 where she has lived ever since.
Refilwe Moloto interviewed Marks on her first visit to Cape Town since taking up her new role.
Welcome home!Refilwe Moloto
Business is her priority (although she is attending the Cape Town Sevens) – she’s here to introduce the new United Airlines non-stop flight to Cape Town and to visit several US companies operating in Cape Town.
Despite being the world’s largest economy, the US is only the third biggest trading partner to South Africa (after China and the EU).
…President Trump took great pains to annunciate to me how beautiful Cape Town was… I anticipate our tourism to South Africa increasing exponentially…Lana Marks, US Ambassador to South Africa
You’ve had such enormous success at rugby! I’m thrilled to be here at the Rugby Sevens… We’re about success, and I’m here to support them [Blitzbokke].Lana Marks, US Ambassador to South Africa
Number three [US rank as SA trading partner] is just not good enough. I like number one… Never be concerned! [when asked if SA will become a target of US trade aggression]… I anticipate trade between our countries to skyrocket soon…Lana Marks, US Ambassador to South Africa
President Ramaphosa and President Trump already have chemistry and a wonderful relationship. They’re both extraordinary businessmen, they’re golfers, they’re on the same wavelength completely… Cyril Ramaphosa! Cyril Ramaphosa! Cyril Ramaphosa! [When asked to choose between Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.]Lana Marks, US Ambassador to South Africa
I saw the pictures of Miss Universe on the Empire State Building… She is so poised! She is so magnificent! What an incredible role model for South Africa.Lana Marks, US Ambassador to South Africa
President Trump had a phone conversation! He’s a businessman; he wants to put deals together… There was no illegality [referring to the impeachment process running against Trump]…Lana Marks, US Ambassador to South Africa
For more detail, listen to the entire interview in the audio below.