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Syed_kamall_mepSyed Kamall, who speaks for the Conservatives on international trade in the European Parliament, has voiced his concerns over the protectionist nature of America’s draft recovery bill.

Under the proposed legislation, only US steel, iron and manufactured goods could be used in construction work funded by the US’s stimulus package.

Mr Kamall comments:

"Protectionist gestures from the US and similar responses from the EU will only create a spiral of economic nationalism.

We cannot turn back the clock to the years of closing our markets to each other. Open trade has increased prosperity and created greater political stability around the world.

Free trade helps facilitate wealth creation and distribution, and it assists with keeping the peace. If the EU and the USA abandon free trade, so will the rest of the world.

The EU should put its own house in order before passing judgment on the USA. EU trade and agriculture policy has made our commitment to free trade appear shallow.

At this difficult time, the EU’s leaders must not bow to understandable pressures to erect a new economic iron curtain."

Mr Kamall is right. President Obama’s attitude to trade has always been my biggest worry about him.

Mr Kamall might have added that it is high time the EU opened its borders to products from Africa and elsewhere. At the moment it floods African nations with its own products, without allowing them access to our market. That is absolutely appalling, and helps enshrine poverty.

Tom Greeves

17 comments for: Syed Kamall fears American protectionism

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