World trade is bouncing back but President Trump might be a problem

The World Trade Organization said Wednesday it expects the value of goods shipped around the globe to grow by around 2.4% in 2017, up from just 1.3% in 2016. The forecast takes into account inflation and currency movements.

This is awesome news BUT recovery will be much weaker if President Trump’s America First and other protectionist polices are adopted, the WTO warned. Director general of the WTO, Roberto Azevedo,  says  “If policymakers attempt to address job losses at home with severe restrictions on imports, trade cannot help boost growth and may even constitute a drag on the recovery.” The WTO said trade growth may be as little as 1.8% this year, or as high as 3.6%, depending on policies governments choose to implement.

Trump isn’t alone in advocating trade policies to protect jobs at home. Right-wing politician Marine Le Pen in France is running for president on a campaign to put French workers first. Meanwhile, Brexit means Britain faces new barriers in selling into its biggest export market, the European Union.

President Trump has already pulled the U.S. out of one vast trade deal in the Pacific, promised to renegotiate the NAFTA agreement with Canada and Mexico, and threatened to slap tariffs or taxes on imports.

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