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'Protectionism a threat to world economy'

Last updated on: October 18, 2010 12:30 IST

'Protectionism a threat to world economy'

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BS Reporter in Mumbai

Lawrence Summers, assistant to the US President Barak Obama for economic policy, on Friday said protectionism was a rising threat to the global economy and helped no one in the end.

"In the end, protectionism makes people poor, makes nations more hostile to one another, reduces opportunities for businesses and for workers.

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Image: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with US President Barack Obama.
Photographs: Reuters
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"And, it is as good as being in a zero-sum game. It is actually a negative-sum game because it destroys value," he said during an address organised jointly by AsiaSociety, US Consulate and Kotak.

He, however, hoped the whole momentum in the international economic integration would continue and that the world would sort out the forces of protectionism.

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Image: Students gather next to paintings of US President Barack Obama.
Photographs: Enny Nuraheni/Reuters
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Summers, who coordinates economic policy for the US president as director of the White House National Economic Council, was in Mumbai ahead of Obama's visit slated for November 6.

He declined to comment on currency tensions.

Summers, who had announced to step down at the end of the year to return to Harvard University, where he is a professor, said the governments in emerging markets, fearing rising exchange rates would hurt exports and stunt growth, had taken measures to limit currency appreciation.


Photographs: Reuters
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