Voices to fight trade protectionism dominate global business forum

Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 07:50 GMT, Sep 28, 2018 |

Leaders and senior officials from the globe have voiced their opposition to U.S.-led unilateralism and trade protectionism during the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

They made their points after U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday rejected globalism in his speech at the UNGA, touting his America First foreign policy and trade stance.

British Prime Minister Theresa May at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum, which was held the same week as the UNGA and for world leaders and top corporate executives to discuss economic and social issues, said people are worried about the rising trend of trade protectionism, and she, in this aspect, is optimistic about the future.

“They look at some of tensions in global trade today and ask whether the rules based system can be really adapted to reflect the realities of the modern world. My answer to all of these questions is a bold and optimistic yes,” May told the forum.

In an interview with the China Global Television Network (CGTN), South African Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said his country is a victim when involved in global trade tensions as the rules-based trading system that they have been living in is to be undermined.

“As a small developing country, we can’t be indifferent to the threat of the multilateral trading system. If it happens and it continues on the course that we’re on now, then we will be just subject to the might of power relations, and we won’t have a rules-based system that we can rely on,” the official said.

And former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is also the host of the forum, told the CGTN that the United States itself will be backfired as embracing a free trade world serves the U.S. interests.

“In terms of the economy, this is just going to hurt America. We’re a country that thrives on free trade. And for America, closing us off for the rest of the world is not in our best interest at all,” he said.

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