Protectionism - latest news, breaking stories and comment - The Independent
News Marine Le Pen, leader of the French National Front, sits next to Dutch leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV) Geert Wilders, at The Hague

The move by Geert Wilders of the Dutch Freedom Party and Marine Le Pen of France’s National Front, came ahead of next year's elections which EU officials fear will bring a surge in support for nationalist and xenophobic parties

Protectionism ‘damaging international trade flows’

World leaders have warned of a new wave of protectionism, hampering international trade and destroying jobs. In the finalweekend of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, Gordon Brown said: “There is implicit protectionism. I’m afraid of what is happening at the moment.”

Intervening to prop up pound is 'recipe for failure', says Brown

PM expected to admit today that he should have been tougher with 'freewheeling bankers'

You can go and work in Europe, Mandelson tells strikers

Unions furious as ministers take aim at Britain's wildcat protesters

Deborah Orr: The protesters have a point: businesses can't ignore society

A local protest over the wholesale import of a team of foreign workers has been supported with enthusiasm around the country. Plenty of people agree with workers at the Lindsey oil refinery, who say that local construction workers need, and should be given, the 400 jobs that will be created to build a new desulphurisation unit.

Leading article: We must resist the temptation to resort to protectionism

What the oil refinery protesters are demanding is not an option

Jeremy Warner: The buck doesn't just stop with the US

Outlook Perhaps it is the new administration, or simply the credit crunch, but the usually sizeable American Davos contingent is notable by its absence this year. One of those who has made the trip is President Bill Clinton. He has been standing in for an absent Larry Summers, the new US deputy Treasury Secretary, at a number of sessions. Now, he was prepared to eat a bit of humble pie, openly admitting that the Chinese are right to blame the entire crisis on the US. Since the crisis started in America, this seems unarguable enough, but is Mr Clinton's full-frontal admission of American guilt entirely correct?

George W Bush: There can be no compromise between good and evil in this world

Like all who have held this office before me, I have experienced setbacks. There are things I would do differently if given the chance. Yet I've always acted with the best interests of our country in mind. I have followed my conscience and done what I thought was right. You may not agree with some of the tough decisions I have made. But I hope you can agree that I was willing to make the tough decisions.

Jeremy Warner: Davies joins the Government

Outlook Few had even heard of Mervyn Davies before he became chief executive of Standard Chartered in 2001. Before that, he was the largely anonymous face of Standard Chartered in Hong Kong and before that he was an unknown Citigroup foot soldier, albeit of officer class. His rise to public prominence since then has been meteoric and today he's known as the banker who managed to escape the credit crunch, one of the few City stalwarts you would still want to be seen dining out with.

Jeremy Warner: How to get banks lending once more

Outlook: To act as a substitute for the banks in credit provision might undermine the Government's perceived creditworthiness

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: Spare me the tears over the white working class

Even those who claim to speak for immigrants flock to indulge them

Jeremy Warner: G20 may struggle to make progress

Outlook Gordon Brown believes April's meeting of the G20 in London will be a pivotal moment for co-ordinated action to help revive the world economy. Let's hope he's right, for the last G20, which took place in Washington last November, has already failed to live up to the hype that surrounded it as a new Bretton Woods for the 21st century.

Brown 'concerned' at credit card rate hikes

Gordon Brown hit out at huge interest rate hikes by credit card firms today, warning that they must behave "responsibly".

PM calls for world-wide tax cuts

Tax cuts and spending rises must be co-ordinated internationally if they are to drag the world out of its economic crisis, Gordon Brown insisted today.

PM: Obama must shun economics of isolation

Gordon Brown will tonight urge Barack Obama to reject pressure from his Democratic Party to put up trade barriers to protect American jobs.

Mandelson urges Obama to resist US protectionists

The Business Secretary Peter Mandelson last night urged Barack Obama not to retreat into trade isolation and protectionism.

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