EU: Protectionism Could Affect G20 Economic Growth, Must Be Avoided

By EU2017EE Estonian Presidency (Pierre Moscovici) via Wikimedia Commons

On Monday, on the sidelines of a meeting of world financial leaders in Argentina that talked about trade, Pierre Moscovici, European Economics Commissioner, said that the Global economic growth is experiencing the risk of protectionism and inward-looking policies which much be avoided.

Moscovici said that central bank governors and finance ministers from the G20, the 20 biggest economies of the world, talked about trade on Monday afternoon in a “polite” manner in the context of the global economic outlook amid concerns that the plans of the United States to impose tariffs on aluminium and steel imports could prompt a global trade war.

Moscovici informed reporters following the first day of the discussions: “The first risk is the risk of inward-looking policies and protectionism.” He added that protectionism could affect growth and some of the principles of free trade of the World Trade Organisation.

Moscovici noted that the world was able to avoid the experience of a great depression from the early 20th century during the financial crisis in 2007-2009 since it did not regress to trade protectionism at the time.

He stated: “I hope that tomorrow the G20 communique will show that protectionism is not the solution and we must absolutely avoid that,” he said. “A trade war would be stupid. There would be damage on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Moscovici reiterated that while the European Union did not want to ignite a trade war with the United States, it was devising counter-measures in case the country was not exempted from the steel and aluminium tariffs of the United States.