Merkel warns US, Obama, against protectionism

January 20th, 2009 - 7:28 am ICT by IANS  

Berlin, Jan 20 (DPA) On the eve of the inauguration of Barack Obama as US president, German Chancellor Angela Merkel sent a warning to the US against the temptation to fall back on protectionist trade policies as a way out of the global financial crisis.Speaking at a meeting of the National Association of German Industry (BDI) in Berlin, Merkel said that after the excesses of the recent past, especially in financial markets, it was time to set up a global regulatory system which contains the essential elements of a social market economy.

It was important to engage with Obama so he realizes the correct consequences to be taken from the crisis, Merkel said.

During the primary election campaign for the Democratic nomination, Obama expressed protectionist ideas, but during the general election campaign against Republican John McCain, he moderated those views.

In addition, Obama’s nominee as US Trade Representative, Ronald “Ron” Kirk, the former mayor of Dallas, Texas, is known as an advocate of free trade.

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