BlackRock's Hildebrand Sees Trump Trade Threat as Biggest Risk

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump’s protectionist U.S. trade policy is the biggest risk to global economic recovery, according to BlackRock Inc. Vice Chairman Philipp Hildebrand.

“It all depends on what America First means,” Hildebrand said in an Bloomberg Television interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “If it means to fundamentally unravel and destroy the global trading order in a highly complicated supply chain world that would be bad news for the global economy.”

While the world’s economy has finally emerged from the “dark shadows” of the financial crisis, the key to sustaining the recovery will be avoiding any major shocks to trade, the former president of Switzerland’s central bank said. Trump on Monday levied tariffs on solar panels and washing machines and is weighing duties on steel and aluminum shipped to the country.

A survey released on Monday showed that booming stock markets and the best growth in seven years is fueling optimism among chief executives. “We are in a very good place right now,” said Hildebrand. “We finally have the outcome that we all have worked so hard to get.”

Among his other comments were:

  • Central banks are "moving away from crisis-induced extreme monetary stance,” he said. "It will be fairly steady retrenchment away from crisis mode.”
  • “Monetary policy will be a lot less eventful and dramatic than it has been"

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