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Tech protectionism would risk new Dark Age, says UK’s Hunt

LONDON (Reuters) – British finance minister Jeremy Hunt said on Wednesday that Western countries and their allies should avoid the temptation to put up protectionist trade barriers in an attempt to gain an edge in technology.

“The strategic choice the world faces is now do we all say ‘we’re going to do this on our own,’ and go back to protectionism, which would bring global growth back into the Dark Ages?,” Hunt told an event hosted by Politico.

“Or do we recognise the benefits of free trade and say that, amongst friends and allies and people who share democratic values, we’re going to build up resilient supply chains that we know will weather any global storms that we face?”

Britain has expressed concern about U.S. subsidies that would favour investment in industries such as clean energy in the United States and which have prompted the European Union to develop similar measures.

Hunt said Britain would remain competitive on innovation.

“In the end, the thing that makes you competitive is the quality of your ideas not the amount of your subsidies,” he said.

Hunt also said it was not possible for countries to opt out of the race to develop artificial intelligence.

(Reporting by William Schomberg, Editing by Kylie MacLellan)

Disclaimer: This report is auto generated from the Reuters news service. ThePrint holds no responsibilty for its content.

Source: The Print

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