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May 3, 2024

Biden Blames ‘Xenophobia’ for Economic Woes in China, Japan, and India: Impact on Global Growth

President Joe Biden pointed fingers at “xenophobia” in China, Japan, and India as a significant factor hobbling their economic growth, emphasizing the importance of migration for a thriving economy. Speaking at a Washington fundraising event for his 2024 re-election campaign and marking the start of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Biden stressed the role of immigrants in driving the US economy.

“Why is China stalling so badly economically, why is Japan having trouble, why is Russia, why is India, because they’re xenophobic. They don’t want immigrants. Immigrants are what makes us strong,” remarked Biden.

The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) forecast for each of these countries indicates a deceleration in growth for 2024 compared to the previous year. Japan, a highly developed nation, is expected to see a growth rate of 0.9 per cent, while India, an emerging economy, is forecasted at 6.8 per cent. In contrast, the United States is projected to grow at 2.7 per cent, attributed in part to migrants expanding the country’s labor force.

The issue of irregular migration has become a prominent concern for many US voters, especially with the upcoming November presidential election. Biden, in contrast to his Republican opponent Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric, has advocated for inclusive policies and has been working to strengthen economic and political ties with countries like Japan and India to counter the influence of China and Russia globally.

Biden’s remarks shed light on the economic implications of xenophobia, emphasizing that openness to immigration has been a driving force behind the success of the US economy. As countries grapple with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and seek to reignite growth, the role of migration policies and attitudes toward immigrants will continue to be critical factors.

Xenophobia not only hampers economic growth but also affects global relations and cooperation. Biden’s emphasis on countering xenophobia and promoting inclusive policies underscores the interconnectedness of economies and the necessity for collaboration on a global scale.

With economic growth forecasts showing disparities among countries based partly on their attitudes towards immigrants, Biden’s stance on immigration and his efforts to foster international partnerships take on added significance. As the world navigates through complex economic challenges, addressing xenophobia and embracing diversity may prove crucial for sustainable growth and stability.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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