Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid released a statement Thursday in response to a communiqué issued by the G-20 meeting of global leaders in which they said they rejected protectionism when dealing with international trade.
In the statement released by the G20 leaders, they vowed to do whatever is necessary to promote global trade and investment and reject protectionism.
They also reaffirmed the commitment made in Washington to refrain from raising new barriers to investment or to trade in goods and services, imposing new export restrictions or implementing WTO-inconsistent measures to stimulate exports. In addition, we will rectify promptly any such measures. We extend this pledge to the end of 2010.
In this grave and global economic crisis, I support the G-20's call for countries to resist taking actions that would impose new beggar-thy-neighbor trade or investment barriers, Reid said in his statement Thursday.
I look forward to working with the (Obama) administration to restore stability and growth to the United States and global economies and to avoid enacting new laws that would be counterproductive to that effort.
At the same time, Reid added, officials and commentators should not conflate legitimate governmental actions with 'protectionism.'
For example, enforcement of product and safety standards based on sound science and valid safety concerns is not protectionism. Enforcement of trade remedy laws consistent with WTO rules is not protectionism. Providing subsidies through direct government spending for domestic production consistent with WTO rules is not protectionism.
Reid said these actions consistent with and constrained by detailed multilateral rules, simply cannot be compared to protectionist measures like unilaterally raising tariffs, whether or not from levels below tariff bindings; imposing arbitrary new licensing restrictions; or similar measures.
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