US President Donald Trump’s recently adopted protectionist measures have prompted severe criticism from the main economic states’ leaders, including Germany’s Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Speaking at the opening of Asia-Pacific Regional Conference in Perth, Australia, Steinmeier has vowed to “oppose those who say that walls and barriers are the solution,” stressing one “cannot simply withdraw from the world.”

Steinmeier’s speech at the conference was dedicated to the severe migration crisis, that contemporarily affects the country. According to him, the reason for the rise of the anti-immigration party Alternative for Deutschland on the recent elections was “the increased number of refugees”.

Meanwhile, Trump proposed protectionist measures including withdrawal from or altering a number of international trade agreements and imposing higher import tariffs in order to revitalize US industrial sector and secure more domestic jobs. Since taking office in January, Trump has ordered the withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as well as the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The German president is currently on his longest and farthest journey. On Thursday and Friday, he paid an official visit to Singapore, on Saturday he is visiting Australia and on Sunday the president will travel to New Zealand. His visit is partly a result of an effort by Australia’s German-speaking Finance Minister, Mathias Cormann, “to develop a stronger, closer relationship with Germany as the major economic and political power in Europe”.


Also published on Medium.

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