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Norway's PM Solberg hits out at Trump 'protectionism' in speech

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Norway's PM Solberg hits out at Trump 'protectionism' in speech
Prime Minister Erna Solberg opens the Conservative party's national congress. Photo: Vidar Ruud / NTB scanpix
16:18 CEST+02:00
Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg says she is concerned by the current trend of protectionism in the light of tariffs on metal imports implemented by Donald Trump and retaliatory measures by China.

Speaking at the Conservative party's annual conference, Solberg warned against the historical precedent set by trade wars.

“Historically, extended periods of protectionism have led to regression, wars and conflict,” Norwegian newspapers including Dagbladet and Aftenposten report Solberg as saying during her opening speech at the Conservative national congress in Gardermoen, Oslo on Friday afternoon.

“Attacks on free trade in recent weeks are therefore cause for concern. It is a great paradox when countries like the United States come across as the biggest threat to free trade,” she added.

The PM also said that “communist China is acting like one of the most prominent defenders [of trade]. A global trade war and increasing protectionism is the last thing the world needs right now.”

Solberg said she was prepared to fight against the trend.

“[A trade war] would hit many countries hard, including Norway. It would make it harder to achieve our sustainability goals. Historically, periods of extended protectionism have led to regression, wars and conflict. These are scary signs. I would strongly advise against such a development,” she said.

She added that, under her leadership, Norway would pursue free and fair trade.

“There must be guidleines between countries. Rules for what is right and wrong. The alternative is that the strongest [countries] get their way. That is not in Norway's interest,” Solberg said.

READ ALSO: Trump's invitation to immigrate leaves Norwegians cold

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