Australian PM stresses need for free trade

Sydney – Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Friday stressed the need for his country and its neighbors to embrace free trade and not close the door to markets.

“Free trade opens new doors for Australian businesses to millions of overseas consumers, meaning more jobs and more prosperity here at home,” said Turnbull while speaking at a small and medium enterprises conference during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-Australia Special Summit in Sydney.

“Open markets … have been two of the most powerful forces in human history. They have led to worldwide growth and prosperity. That’s why Australia will continue to work with our closest neighbors in the region.”

His comments came amid concerns about the global economic impact of planned U.S. tariffs on steel and other imports announced recently by the Trump administration. The tariff move has sparked worries of a trade war with countries implementing retaliatory sanctions.

“You don’t grow stronger by closing the door to other markets. Protectionism is a dead end,” said Turnbull. “We must face the world, not turn from it. Embrace free trade, not retreat from it.” Source: Xinhua