President Barack Obama spoke strongly in favor of globalization on Wednesday, vowing to pursue an “international order” in spite of the recent decision by voters in the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.
“The integration of national economies into a global economy, that’s here. That’s done,” he said after meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Neito at the North America Leaders’ Summit in Canada.
He accused the United Kingdom of trying to escape global responsibility by voting to leave the European Union.
“Their argument was not against trade generally. They just didn’t want any obligations to go with the access to the free market,” he said.
Imitating Britain’s path by withdrawing from existing trade deals was “the wrong medicine” according to Obama.
“We’d lose jobs and the amount of disruption that would be involved would be enormous,” he said.
He repeated his argument for his Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, pointing out that it was important for the United States to write the rules of international trade in Asia.
“We’re going to keep on pushing hard to shape an international order that works for our people,” he said. “But we’re not going to be able to do that by cutting off trade, because that’s going to make all of us poorer.”