Solberg opposes Trump’s protectionism

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Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg followed through on plans to oppose US President Donald Trump’s new protectionist trade policies when she addressed the United Nations’ General Assembly Tuesday night. She also stressed the importance of international cooperation through multilateral organizations that Trump dislikes.

“We cannot afford to let protectionism, discrimination and economic rivalry define our future,” Solberg stated from the podium at the UN in New York. She hailed the World Trade Organization (WTO), from which Trump is threatening to withdraw: “The WTO is essential for Norway and our interaction with the world. I believe rules-based trade is just as important for our partners. Free trade creates winners. Protectionism does not.”

Solberg also noted that “our job is not done” regarding the UN’s efforts to “save future generations from the scourge of war, to work together to promote economic and social advancement.” She stressed that “we can achieve more when we act together,” while deploring “trade conflicts, violent extremism, climate change and instability at the global level.”

Solberg’s remarks, which also included a pitch for Norway’s candidacy for a seat on the UN Security Council, were widely interpreted in Norway as what Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) called “a kick” at many of the policies of the Trump Administration. She’s particularly worried about the effects of Trump’s trade wars and had signalled that both she and her foreign minister, Ine Eriksen Søreide, would speak plainly during their time at the UN this week to encourage international cooperation as opposed to the bilateral cooperation favoured by Trump.

To read Solberg’s entire statement on behalf of Norway at the UN General Assembly, click here (external link to the government’s website).