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Protectionism a global threat, says Obama aide news
16 October 2010

Lawrence Summers, a key advisor to US president Barak Obama on economic policy, on Friday said protectionism was a rising threat to the global economy and helped no one in the end.

''In the end, protectionism makes people poor, makes nations more hostile to one another, and reduces opportunities for businesses and for workers. It is as good as being in a zero-sum game. It is actually a negative-sum game because it destroys value,'' he said during an address organised jointly by AsiaSociety, the US Consulate and Kotak in Mumbai on Friday.

He, however, hoped the whole momentum in the international economic integration would continue and that the world would sort out the forces of protectionism.

Summers, who coordinates economic policy for the US president as director of the White House National Economic Council, was in Mumbai ahead of Obama's visit slated for 6 November. He declined to comment on currency tensions.

Summers, has announced that he would step down at the end of the year to return to Harvard University, where he is a professor.

He said the governments in emerging markets, fearing rising exchange rates would hurt exports and stunt growth, had taken measures to limit currency appreciation.

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Protectionism a global threat, says Obama aide