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Germany

Merkel Warns US, Obama, Against Protectionism

As the world awaits Barack Obama's inauguration as 44th US president on Tuesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned the next American leader against the temptation to fall back on protectionist trade policies.

A US flag behind a barbed wire fence

Protectionism is not the way to go, says Merkel

Speaking at a meeting of the National Association of German Industry (BDI) in Berlin, Merkel said that after the excesses of the recent past, especially in financial markets, it was time to set up a global regulatory system which contains the essential elements of a social market economy.

It was important to engage with Obama so he realizes the correct consequences to be taken from the crisis, Merkel said.

During the primary election campaign for the Democratic nomination, Obama expressed protectionist ideas, but during the general election campaign against Republican John McCain, he moderated those views.

In addition, Obama's nominee as US Trade Representative, Ronald "Ron" Kirk, the former mayor of Dallas, Texas, is known as an advocate of free trade.

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