London Telegraph 
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Senior Asian economists fear the incoming US administration of Barack Obama could drag their economies deeper into the global downturn with protectionist policies.
Ammar Siamwalla, one of Thailand’s leading economists, said that recessions in the West will hit Thailand’s export dependent economy next year.
“The best that can be expected [from this weekend’s summit of world leaders] is for them to go against protectionism,” he said. “Given the recent change in the US, that’s a little bit worrisome.”
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Many in Asia fear Mr Obama, who struck a protectionist tone during the campaign, will adopt policies designed to protect American jobs.
That in turn would impose more “made in America” problems on export dependent Asian economies already struggling with the fallout from the Wall Street crisis.
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“I think protectionism will increase,” said Anton Gunawan, chief economist at Indonesia’s Bank Danamon.
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