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Trade as a weapon

Jun 04,2019 - Last updated at Jun 04,2019

The mere thought of using trade as a weapon or a whip against countries sends shudders across the globe and threatens the global economy.

Yet, this is exactly what US President Donald Trump has been doing right and left, and the latest episode was when he arbitrarily used this dubious card against Mexico. Trump wants Mexico to do more to stop the flow of illegal migrants across the US-Mexican border by whatever means available to it, including the arrest and detention of these people or forcing them to return to their countries of origin in Latin America.

While stopping the flow of illegal migrants or refugees from crossing borders of neighbouring countries is legitimate and reasonable under international standards, the use of the trade card as a weapon against countries which are unable, for one reason or another, to stop the illegal crossing of migrants is certainly ridiculous and highly irresponsible.

Yet, the international community has gotten used by now to bizarre and unorthodox actions ordered by President Trump that nothing that Trump decides on now would surprise it. The US president has already used the trade weapon against China, the EU, Iran and Venezuela to name just a few states. By acting so, Trump is wreaking havoc on international trade and commerce, as one action against any major country would have a ripple effect on the economies of the entire world and cause a global recession.

President Trump must be called to order by the UN Security Council of the UN General Assembly to refrain from exploiting trade and commerce as a punishment against nations that he happens to dislike for one reason or another.

The World Trade Organisation, the UN Conference on Trade and Development and the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and others have all condemned, in no uncertain terms, the exploitation of the trade card as a tool to implement certain foreign policies.

It is doubtful that Trump would heed any criticism against his illegal actions, but there is no harm in trying.

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