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Modi, in Davos, Praises Globalization Without Noting India’s Trade Barriers

DAVOS, Switzerland — Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India issued a strong call on Tuesday for nations to embrace globalization, combat climate change and strengthen international institutions like the World Trade Organization.

“Forces of protectionism are raising their heads against globalization,” Mr. Modi said during a speech to the World Economic Forum here. “Their intention is not only to avoid globalization, but they also want to reverse its natural flow.”

Notably missing from the speech was any mention of recent moves by Mr. Modi’s own government to restrict imports into India as part of a broad industrial policy meant to force foreign companies to increase manufacturing operations in the country. In essence, he is pursuing a protectionist agenda, at odds with the mantra of globalization.

Mr. Modi’s speech reflects the tenor of the times. As President Trump pushes an “America First” strategy, global leaders are lining up to position themselves as a counterpoint, even if there is sometimes a disconnect between the rhetoric and the reality.

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