Indian PM: Wave of trade protectionism ‘worrisome’

Indian PM: Wave of trade protectionism ‘worrisome’
© Getty Images

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday warned against a rising wave of protectionist trade policies, saying that such policies pose a danger on the same level as terrorist attacks or climate change, The Associated Press reports.

In a speech in Davos, Switzerland, Modi warned against those forces who are "raising their heads against globalization" in what was seen as a warning shot at the policies of President TrumpDonald TrumpThe Memo: The Obamas unbound, on race Iran says onus is on US to rejoin nuclear deal on third anniversary of withdrawal Assaults on Roe v Wade increasing MORE and others who are skeptical of free trade.


“Forces of protectionism are raising their heads against globalization,” Modi said in his opening address at the World Economic Forum. “It feels like the opposite of globalization is happening.”

“The negative impact of this kind of mindset cannot be considered less dangerous than climate change or terrorism,” he added.

The Indian leader, who visited the White House at President Trump's invitation last year, did not directly mention the president in his speech Tuesday. But his remarks came just hours after the Trump administration announced new tariffs on components for solar panels in a move to boost U.S. manufacturing.

“I don’t want the windows of my house to be closed from all directions. I want the winds of cultures of all countries to enter my house with aplomb and go out also," Modi said.

On Monday, the Trump administration announced tariffs of 30 percent on imported solar panel technology, a major blow to the U.S. solar industry, which relies heavily on imports.

“The president’s action makes clear again that the Trump administration will always defend American workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses in this regard,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Monday.

Trump is scheduled to speak at the World Economic Forum on Friday.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to speak later Tuesday.