BUSINESS

Pitsiorlas warns against return to protectionism

TAGS: Economy

Greece is closely following developments in the ongoing US-China trade dispute, strongly supports cross-border cooperation and opposes protectionism, Greece’s deputy economy and development minister told Xinhua in Athens.

Asked to comment on the dispute between the world’s two largest economies, which has fueled worries over the potential impact on the global economy, Stergios Pitsiorlas said: “These US actions are causing concern across Europe. Europe is worried, not just Greece, about the possible trade wars...”

“At present we do not see any particular negative repercussions on the Greek economy or on the European one, but we think that if these initiatives are extended, they will create problems,” he said.

The US government’s decision in March to impose more tariffs on imports from China and restrictions on Chinese investment in the United States triggered concern that new barriers will be raised and global trade harmed.

“Our position is that we should strengthen global cooperation. There should be rules of course for this cooperation and there should be reciprocity in all actions,” the Greek official said.

“I think that without exaggerating problems which emerge for a moment, we must remain committed to the policy of cooperation, of opening up borders and to a policy that will make the most of globalization on new terms,” he added.

The first years of globalization created conflicts and inequalities, and “we are now entering a phase where we are beginning to discuss the need for such regulations,” he said.

He expressed optimism that something good will come out of all these talks and especially for the region of Central and Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean.

Despite the rhetoric and the tension in US-China trade ties lately, the Greek official does not believe that the point of no return has been reached.

“All these are steps made by all sides to check the resilience of the other side and above all they are actions that result from the fact that in the first period of the opening up of the markets, there were no regulations that should have existed,” Pitsiorlas said.

[Xinhua]

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