Uruguayan president warns of post-pandemic protectionism at Mercosur Summit

2020-12-16 22:35:34 GMT2020-12-17 06:35:34(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

MONTEVIDEO, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- Countries should be wary of turning to protectionist trade measures in a bid to shore up their pandemic-hit economies, Uruguay's President Luis Lacalle Pou said on Wednesday.

Addressing the 57th Presidents' Summit of South American trade bloc Mercosur (Southern Common Market), held virtually due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Lacalle Pou urged member states to avoid "protectionism" as a cure for economies laid low by lockdowns.

"The whole world has had governments that must protect their people and that protection of the people can be transformed into protectionism," warned Lacalle Pou.

"We must have that dual perspective of caring for our own, but at the same time not failing to realize that in this interrelated world, the link between countries and also between blocs matters more and more," he added.

At the summit, Uruguay handed over the bloc's pro tempore presidency to Argentina. Enditem