Trump's Davos-Friendly Message Can't Hide His 'Protectionist Tone'

Kevin Rudd on CNN International

On January 26, 2018, ASPI President Kevin Rudd spoke with CNN International's Hala Gorani about U.S. President Donald Trump’s speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos and the current state of global trade.

Rudd states that Trump’s call at Davos for foreign investment in America needs to be weighed against the “protectionist tone” that his administration has set by abandoning the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and instituting “tariffs on certain goods mainly produced in countries like China and South Korea.” Rudd explains that Trump’s message was likely “designed to sound ‘free trade’ in a free trade environment like Davos, rather than represent the substance of what he intends” to do.

Putting America’s actions in context, Rudd states that “the grave danger” today is a "retreat to protectionism [and] mercantilism” that threatens “the fabric of the global trade architecture.” Rudd concludes the interview by calling on Washington to develop a sustainable, long-term policy response on trade. The global trade architecture needs to be put back together again, he says, “not just with bits of sticky tape” but with “something that holds.” (5 min., 39 sec.)

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