14:25 GMT +315 October 2019
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    Protesters depicting Statue of Liberty (L) and Europa on the bull take part in a demonstration against Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) free trade agreement ahead of US President Barack Obama's visit in Hanover, Germany April 23, 2016.

    Former Uruguayan President Warns of US Protectionism's Consequences

    © REUTERS / Kai Pfaffenbach
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    The international community is currently facing big changes. US protectionist policy and China's desire for a dominant role in global trade gradually lead to a new geopolitical order.

    In an exclusive interview with Sputnik Mundo, former president of Uruguay José Mujica commented on the issue.

    "Sometimes, reality surpasses our imagination. Nevertheless, I believe that nothing happens by chance," Mujica told Sputnik, commenting on the new political situation in which Washington seeks to introduce trade berries, while Beijing, on the contrary, stands for the protection of open markets.

    According to Mujica, this situation is a result of globalization, which has been "prompted by three main forces: international financial markets, the power of transnational companies and the media revolution that occurred with the emergence of the internet."

    The fact that benefits have not been redistributed properly and that the wealth has been concentrated in the hands of a few people led to a certain reaction in the middle class, the politician argued.

    In Mujica's opinion, "the middle class in developed countries" started to respond with "ultra-nationalist policies that are presented as protectionism," which is a result of "frustration and stagnation."

    This may have dire consequences for global markets and may "become a heavy shock" to the world economy.

    In particular, the new US administration is now pursuing a highly protectionist policy that focuses on the country's domestic production and imposes a huge number of trade barriers against other countries.

    US President Donald Trump has recently signed an executive order withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade treaty and promised to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The fate of the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the United States and the European Union is currently uncertain.

    "The main question is who will pay for the future crisis that will emerge from trade reconstruction and how dangerous will the outbreak of a trade war be. In other words, [what will be the consequences] of the wave of actions and counteractions like the introduction of trade barriers which could lead to a crisis on the global market," the politician said.

    Earlier, Russian political expert Boris Martynov said in an interview with Sputnik that Donald Trump's protectionism may eventually backfire on the US. Trump's decision to impose pressure on certain states is likely to accelerate their economic contacts with China and open a window of new opportunities for Beijing.


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