Kevin Rudd: U.S. Should Avoid Mercantilist Approach at G20

Interview on CNN

On July 5, 2017, Asia Society Policy Institute President Kevin Rudd spoke with Richard Quest on CNN about how international trade will feature at the upcoming G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany on July 7 and 8.

Rudd warned that if President Donald Trump’s protectionist rhetoric were to translate into “a series of punitive tariffs,” it would likely “generate retaliatory action,” resembling the “early stages of a trade war.” In efforts to make trade fairer, countries must “make the case based on the facts,” Rudd said.  

For example, the Trump administration has made the case that the bilateral deficit between U.S. and South Korea is a result of the unfair and one-sided nature of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement. However, according to Rudd, the demand for goods and services determines the deficit, not simply the terms of that treaty. Rudd does note that, while we must avoid a mercantilist cost-benefit analysis, President Trump is correct to “make sure the laws and the rules of the global trading system are properly enforced.” (4 min., 14 sec.)

Watch the full interview here. 

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