March 16, 2017 / 1:01 PM / 9 months ago

Populism, protectionism threaten global prosperity: Schaeuble

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Populism and nationalism will continue to rise until the world’s biggest economies start to temper the excesses of globalization, tackling a growing feeling of injustice, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Thursday.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble poses in his office during an interview with Reuters at the Finance Ministry in Berlin, Germany, March 15, 2017. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

As the gap widens between the rich and the poor, nationalism, populism and protectionism will find fertile ground and pose a risk to prosperity, Schaeuble told a conference, responding in part to an increasingly protectionist stance from the new U.S. administration.

“If we have learned anything about the lessons of the past, it’s that nationalism and protectionism are never the right answers,” Schaeuble said, just hours before meeting U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

“Isolationism is always the wrong choice. It can be very tempting in the short term but in the long term, it can only undermine trust,” Schaeuble said.

Reporting by Balazs Koranyi and Andreas Framke; Editing by Toby Chopra

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