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Obama: US must work with other nations

Obama US

President Barack Obama has warned that the US needs to work with other nations around the world to help boost economies.

Writing in the Economist, Mr Obama said there was a level of concern about the dangers of globalisation among many people in the US, but said better co-operation with other countries would help to alleviate these problems.

He recognises that these hesitations are not unique to the American people, saying that a similar distrust of international institutions, trade agreements and immigration had led to the rise of populist parties around the world and Britain's recent decision to leave the European Union.

To best resolve this issue, the Democrat president - who will leave the White House in just a few months' time - highlighted the importance of recognising the inequalities that globalisation can create.

However, he said that many of these concerns are driven by fears that are not "fundamentally economic".

Mr Obama commented that the "anti-immigrant, anti-Mexican, anti-Muslim and anti-refugee sentiment" held by some people is not a new problem, citing issues such as the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 and the anti-Asian sentiment in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Pointing to a brighter future, the US president said there have been a number of periods where Americans have been told that former glory could be restored if a certain group is brought under control, but these fears have been overcome.

In his article for the Economist, Mr Obama said some concerns are related to the long-term economic plan, with periods of declining productivity growth and increasing inequality.

"The world is more prosperous than ever before and yet our societies are marked by uncertainty and unease," he wrote.
"So we have a choice - retreat into old, closed-off economies or press forward, acknowledging the inequality that can come with globalisation while committing ourselves to making the global economy work better for all people, not just those at the top."

He added that capitalism was the greatest driver of prosperity the world has ever known, and that trade was more beneficial than harmful to the US economy. Although the current president is enthusiastic about expanding trade deals, both the Republican and Democratic presidential nominees Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are opposed to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

Championed by Mr Obama, the Trans-Pacific Partnership would effectively create a new single market between 12 countries. As well as the US, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Peru would also be included in the agreement.

If the deal is ratified, it would reduce tariffs to boost trade between these key nations in the future. In the future, it could also lead to collaboration on economic policies and regulation.

However, the deal is a controversial issue and there are many critics.

At the Democratic Party convention last month, Senator Bernie Sanders used the opportunity to criticise the move. Opponents have said the deal will harm the economy.​