GENEVA: Global trade is not the main cause for the loss of manufacturing jobs in places like the United States and needs to be defended from its critics, the chief of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) said on Wednesday.
Director-General Roberto Azevedo rebuffed arguments made by some politicians around the world, such as US presidential candidate Donald Trump, that global trade deals are destroying jobs or causing them to move to lower-cost countries.
He pointed to recent studies showing that as much as 90 per cent of the US manufacturing jobs recently lost were due to new technologies, innovation or improvements in efficiency. “It had nothing to do with imports, it had nothing to do with trade competition,” he told reporters after a WTO general council meeting.
“I don’t think we do enough in making the case for trade because we think trade is so obviously positive for any economy. It’s like trying to argue with a friend that he needs to breathe.”
He declined to comment on weekend remarks by Trump to NBC TV suggesting Trump might pull the US out of the WTO if its rules prevent his hopes to set fees on US companies that ship jobs abroad. “I don’t intend to get into a debate,” Azevedo said. “I’m not a candidate.”
Courtesy : Dawn News