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World leaders against 'protectionism' in Davos

Posted January. 26, 2018 08:10,   

Updated January. 26, 2018 08:47


The leaders of various countries who attended the 2018 World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos, Switzerland, has shown their concerns in the United States’ protectionism. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at her special speech on Wednesday (local time) that protectionism is not the answer to solve the international problems, and French President Emmanuel Macron also claimed that protectionism causes even greater division. Before they spoke, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also warned about the movement for protectionism, which is recently growing strong. It seems that they are working on an “Anti-Trump” solidarity, aiming for U.S. President Donald Trump, who has reinforced the protectionism by ordering safeguard restrictions on foreign washing machines and solar powered products.

It is hard to understand that even China, the country that had a retaliation against Korea in trade for placing Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), joined in criticizing Trump, by saying, “China is strongly against all forms of protectionism,” but the actions of global leaders do have a point. The negative effects the United States’ reinforcement of protectionism will have in the world economy is a deep concern, but there is even a higher chance that the international order with liberalism, which has been led by the United States, could weaken. There is also a forecast that as the United States reinforces protectionism, the United States’ global leadership can be damaged and the U.S. dollar’s function as the key currency could be weakened, and so on. The damages of protectionism will go to U.S. consumers, given that LG Electronics visualizing the price increase of its washing machines in the United States.

But President Trump is expected to put emphasis on “America First” at the closing speech of the forum scheduled on Friday night (local time). U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin actively responded to the criticism, saying, “America First does mean working with the rest of the world,” which is the strategic move to support President Trump’s claims.

No one can deny that the United States is one of the largest markets in the world. But if the United States tries to move the order of the international trade that the United States wants it to move, it is difficult to receive support from the international society. France started to build a trading route that connects Europe, Russia and China, and China is speeding up on reaching the settlement on Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with Korea, Australia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The writer truly wishes that President Trump will empathize on the fact that the United States can become stronger when it works with its alliances and moves while being interconnected with the world.