Trade and industry secretary, Alistair Darling, has called on countries to fight protectionism and accept globalisation as “a force for good”.
Speaking in Washington to the US Chamber of Commerce, he told American politicians and business leaders that globalisation did not mean that one country’s benefits must come at the expense of another’s.
The choice was to either retreat behind national borders and hope that barriers can keep the effects of globalisation at bay or to have confidence in the ability of nations to face the challenges ahead, Darling said.
“As developing countries grow wealthier they will become new markets into which we can trade a wider range of products,” he said. “New jobs come with increased trade in goods and services: lower prices for goods in our shops; lower interest rates; higher economic growth; and, higher employment for our people.
“Globalisation is an opportunity not a threat – to respond by resorting to protectionism will lead to less trade, lower growth and lower employment,” Darling said. “That’s the real threat to business and us all. Both the US and the UK have an opportunity to lead and shape events, show how globalisation and a growing world economy can bring new jobs and increasing prosperity for our people.”