Globalization versus Protectionism at the World Economic Forum


China, France and India are among the nations defending globalization against a wave of protectionist sentiment led by U.S. President Donald Trump. Beijing is reinforcing its commitment to open markets, reform and global growth, but it’s not happy about new U.S. tariffs imposed this week.

CGTN’s Nathan King reports.

From France’s President Emmanuel Macron to India’s Narendra Modi, leader after leader at the World Economic Forum defended globalization, calling for more, not less.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech at Davos last year has been called a turning point. It was a robust defense of globalization that China continues to uphold in 2018.

Liu He, director of the General Office of the Central Leading Group for Financial and Economic Affairs, said that, “After decades of development, a large-scale middle income population has emerged in China, giving rise to a vast domestic market. We believe that this open domestic market, with fast growing middle-income population of 400 million, will contribute significantly to global development. The Belt and Road Initiative originated from China, but it is the idea that will deliver opportunity and benefits to the whole world.”

As the U.S. President arrived at Davos, anticipation for his keynote speech Friday is growing, with many there wondering if the world’s largest economy will find itself isolated on global economic policy.

On the eve of the trip, White House officials stressed that the policy of ‘America First’ will benefit everyone.

“We’re going to the World Economic Forum to share President Trump’s economic story and to tell the world that America is open for business,” said White House Economic Advisor Gary Cohn.

“We want the world to invest in America and to create jobs for hard-working Americans. President Trump’s economic agenda has unleashed the U.S. economy, and we are growing,” he said.

While a booming U.S. economy is good for the world, many world leaders say trade barriers are not. And with new U.S. actions expected soon on steel and aluminum, the world is wary that the U.S. is putting up trade barriers while the rest of the world moves to pull them down.

Chinese Ministry of Commerce Spokesman Gao Feng said, “I would like to reiterate that cooperation is the only correct choice for both China and the U.S. China’s door of cooperation and dialogue is always open. We hope that the China-U.S. trade frictions won’t get escalated, and the two sides can resolve their conflicts and facilitate pragmatic cooperation through a constructive way.”

“Meanwhile, China will take all appropriate measures to firmly protect its own legitimate rights and interests, while coping with those unilateral and protectionism actions that don’t follow WTO’s rules.”

As the U.S. raises tariffs, Pacific and Asian nations are lowering them. Eleven nations are set to sign a renamed Trans-Pacific partnership next month.

It could have been 12. Up until last year, the U.S. led those negotiations, but President Trump pulled out of the agreement in his first few weeks in office.

CGTN’s Asieh Namdar talks to Dan McClory,Managing Director of Boustead Securities, about President Trump’s impact at the World Economic Forum in Davos.