- REUTERS/Jonathan Crosby
Peru’s central bank chief said on Wednesday that he gets “goose bumps” when he thinks about what would happen to the global economy if US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump wins the November election.
Answering questions from reporters on the sidelines of an economic forum, Julio Velarde called Trump’s statements about scrapping trade deals and imposing tariffs on Chinese and Mexican imports “very dangerous.”
“If the man does a fraction of what he says he will, we could go back to the ’30s,” Velarde said, referring to the Great Depression of the early 1930s. “It gives me the goose bumps.”
The comments were videotaped and posted online by local financial daily Gestion. The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.
Velarde, who has run Peru’s central bank since 2006 and was named central banker of the year by Financial Times magazine The Banker in 2015, is not the first official in the region to voice such concerns.
Peru’s recently elected president, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, in June joked that if Trump won the presidency Peru would “grab a saw and cut them off!,” referring to Peru-US relations. Kuczynski also voiced a more serious unease about Trump’s candidacy, saying, “he wants to put a wall between the US and Latin America and to make Mexicans pay for it, which would really be the last straw.”
- REUTERS/Henry Romero
Mexico has been a focal point for Trump’s rhetoric during the campaign, accusing the country, which is the US’s third-largest trading partner, of sending “rapists” and other criminal across the border. Trump’s recent visit with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto angered many in the country, and appears to have led to the finance minister’s resignation.
The New York real-estate magnate has broken with the Republican Party’s traditional embrace of free trade, vowing to rip up the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal to which Peru is a signatory and to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, which Trump blames for the loss of US jobs.
Trump has also threatened to put tariffs on Chinese products to show Beijing that the US is serious about leveling the field on trade.
(Reporting for Reuters by Mitra Taj; Editing by Peter Cooney)