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In the English language the word “Protection” sounds warm and friendly. Everyone needs protection against the storms of life and it is nice to give protection and be protected. But lift this innocent word into the international sphere and it becomes a sinister and ominous concept, a harbinger of narrow selfishness, conflict and impoverishment.

At present it is a word being heard increasingly on the world stage. The virus of protectionism, like the virus of swine fever, is spreading fast through the global economy, and taking new and more dangerous forms.

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