Business World

Wednesday 24 October 2018

Maersk boss warns US economy at risk

'As the Trump administration blames globalisation for pummelling the middle classes, the Maersk CEO says it's clear other regions are emerging as economic powerhouses.' Photo: Getty
'As the Trump administration blames globalisation for pummelling the middle classes, the Maersk CEO says it's clear other regions are emerging as economic powerhouses.' Photo: Getty

Christian Wienberg

The chief executive officer of the world's biggest shipping company says curbs on immigration backed by the administration of US President Donald Trump risk hurting the American economy.

"The US economy is running at full steam and therefore wages have started to rise," which "in itself is positive" said Soren Skou, the CEO of Moller-Maersk.

"But if the US succeeds in cutting off immigration, it will be very challenging to keep the economy going at the same pace."

Running a company that transports goods around the world puts Mr Skou in a unique position to observe how a wave of protectionism is reshaping the global trade map.

As the Trump administration blames globalisation for pummelling the middle classes, the Maersk CEO says it's clear other regions are emerging as economic powerhouses.

"My personal belief is that Europe has more potential," Mr Skou said.

"There are parts of Europe with a lot of potential if they make reforms that strengthen their labour markets and seize the opportunities that arise from digitisation.

"If the political situation can be kept under control, I think Europe has some good years ahead."

Maersk transported 10.7 million 40-foot containers last year, an increase of 3pc from 2016.

The company's fleet of almost 800 vessels controls about a fifth of the world's seaborne trade, according to industry consultant Alphaliner.

When it comes to the longer term, Mr Skou said Maersk is "positive" on Africa and Latin America. "That's why we've invested a lot in those two regions," he said. (Bloomberg)

Bloomberg

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