WTO chief Lamy slams French protectionist 'diversion'

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Almost all the candidates in the French presidential election campaign, from the Far Right to the Radical Left, are championing protectionism, a rare issue on which there is such broad agreement. But the rhetoric doesn’t impress World Trade Organisation Director-General Pascal Lamy, who dismisses the protectionist vogue as one based on false premises and serving only to divert attention from the primary issue of French competitiveness. In this wide-ranging interview with Philippe Riès, Lamy argues that protectionism is fuelled by a French malaise towards the wider world, an issue that he says requires an “anthropolitical” approach.

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Almost all the candidates in the French presidential election campaign, from the Far Right to the Radical Left, are championing protectionism, a rare issue on which there is such broad agreement. But it doesn’t impress World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director-General Pascal Lamy, who dismisses the protectionist vogue as one based on false premises and which only serves to divert attention from the primary issue of French competitiveness.