MONTEVIDEO – Former President Jose Mujica, who governed Uruguay from 2010-2015, warned on Monday of the possibility of global trade wars erupting.
“The Uruguayan government must deal with an international situation full of uncertainties, and we don’t know whether this situation will lead to a trade war. Hopefully not, but it’s a latent danger,” Mujica said after a meeting of his Broad Front coalition.
A small country like Uruguay must have an “open economy” since it needs to import and export goods, “selling a lot overseas,” which is key to promoting other domestic policies, Mujica said.
The 81-year-old former president noted that in the past, trouble in the global economy has had an impact on Uruguay.
“When I was young, I saw the Colorado Party crumble after governing for 90 years because the terms of trade changed almost overnight,” Mujica said.
“I remember then-President Luis Batlle (in office from 1947-1951 and 1954-1958) fainting in the United States, where he went to fight to get a few extra pesos for the beef we were exporting back then,” the former president said.
With Donald Trump in the White House, “we do not know if we have a trade war on our doorstep,” Mujica said.
“We are a country of a little over 3 million people and live in a world in turmoil, and we don’t know what’s going to happen with the international economy,” Mujica said.