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The Nikkei View

Cooperative global framework needed to protect world's open economic order

US and China must be encouraged to respect multilateral, rules-based free trade

The free trade order that has served as the foundation of today's global economy is faltering. This is because the U.S., a longstanding champion of free trade, is now behaving more like a challenger to the established order. To maintain and reinforce an open economic system, it is necessary to build a framework for global cooperation, with Asian and European nations taking the lead in that effort.

One year ago, there were worries that the administration of newly inaugurated U.S. President Donald Trump would plunge the world into a trade war. Fortunately, such fears have not yet materialized. Though Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement soon after taking office, he has not taken the drastic steps, such as imposing punitive tariffs on Chinese goods, that he had hinted at on the campaign trail.

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