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Trump's anti-globalization talk just a 'phase,' chairman of Dubai ports says


President Donald Trump's anti-globalization sentiments are just a "phase" and will go away, the chairman of Dubai ports operator DP World told CNBC on Sunday.

"What Donald Trump wants is fair trade, fair trade versus free trade now," Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said in a TV interview at the World Government Summit in Dubai. "If you look at the U.S. it is open for every product, so for America … if American products don't get in easily to China, America will react."

He added: "They want fair trade and nobody can object and I think these are legitimate reasons behind what you hear, but none-the-less all these anti-globalization sentiments is going to pass away, it's a phase.

"It's a phase where everyone is excited, that's what actually got Donald Trump elected, that feeling that I am losing my job and others are competing with us, unfairly and that is where we are coming from – I think everyone is going to abide by the general agreement on trade and tariffs."

Shipping containers sit on the dockside at the container terminal operated by DP World Ltd., at the Port of Southampton, in Southampton, U.K., on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016.
Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images Restrictions

Trump has talked up protectionist measures taking aim at the likes of China, sparking fears of a trade war with the world's second-largest economy, and criticizing pacts like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Trump has vowed to re-negotiate the NAFTA – a trade agreement between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.

Earlier in the day, World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab said the U.S. elections showed the "anger of people against globalization and against the elites which they feel have benefited."

The anti-global sentiment was a key part of Trump's election campaign, and his short time in office has shown his willingness to talk about changing the way the U.S. trades with the world.

DP World is no stranger to the U.S. The company made a $6.8 billion bid for some U.S .ports in 2006 but the deal was derailed by lawmakers who said it poses a threat to national security. The DP World chairman said there is nothing stopping the company going into the U.S. now but there are no projects that look "viable."

"There is already over capacity basically and so we always watch the market if we can find the right approach we can get in, we haven't found [it] so far," bin Sulayem said.