Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg on Friday slammed U.S. President Donald Trump's punitive tariffs on steel and aluminum as "protectionism" amid escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and other countries, including China.
"A global trade war and increasing protectionism are the last things the world needs now," said Solberg at the Conservative national congress in Gardermoen, Oslo on Friday afternoon, reminding the audience that "historically extended periods of protectionism have led to regression, wars and conflict."
Solberg, who normally calls the U.S. "our biggest ally", said it is a great paradox when countries like the U.S. come across as the biggest threat to free trade, while China has become one of the most prominent defenders of free trade.
"[A trade war] would hit many countries hard, including Norway. It would make it harder to achieve our sustainability goals. These are scary signs. I would strongly advise against such a development," she added.
She stressed that Norway would pursue free and fair trade under her leadership.
"There must be guidelines between countries. Rules for what is right and wrong. The alternative is that the strongest [countries] get their way. That is not in Norway's interest."
Norway is not exempt from the U.S.' punitive tolls.