Taking a dig at the teenage environment activist Greta Thunberg, the treasury secretary of the United States Steven Mnuchin said that the teenager should go away and study economics before making any suggestions to investors.
A complete absence of understanding about the economy and jobs was reflected in the call given by the activist for investors not to invest in fossil fuel projects, Mnuchin said. “After she goes and studies economics in college, she can come back and explain that to us,” he said at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
While not directly naming Thunberg, US president Donald Trump had called such environment activities as “prophets of doom” in a speech in Davos on Tuesday.
The campaigners should focus their concentration on countries where there is rising emissions and should not be as pessimistic as they are, Trump said. He however did not mentioned the countries be thought had increasing emission.
That criticism was continued by Mnuchin on Thursday.
“Is she the chief economist?” Mnuchin said responding to a question about Thunberg’s call for fossil fuels to be scrapped. “For people who call for divestment, there are significant economic issues – issues with jobs,” he added.
On a separate issue, Mnuchin said that he was hopeful that the US and the UK could be able to sing a trade agreement by this year. A deal was “an absolute priority” for the president. We expect to complete that with them [UK] this year,” he said.
“What I saw coming out was that they wanted to accomplish both these deals in 2020. That’s obviously an aggressive timetable,” Mnuchin said while referring to the discussions ongoing about the UK’s post-Brexit trade negotiations with the US and the EU.
While he could not comment on the UK-EU talks, he could make comments on a possible UK-US trade deal, Mnuchin said.
“That’s an absolute priority of President Trump and we expect to complete that with them this year, which we think will be great for them and great for us,” he added.
(Adapted from BBC.com)