The chairman of DP World on Monday said US president Donald Trump’s push for free trade agreements was not protectionism but a drive for fairer deals.
Speaking at the Arab Media Forum, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said he did not believe Mr Trump would hurt global trade.
Mr Trump is seeking to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, although the White House has said the United States was considering withdrawing from the talks.
“I am not so pessimistic on Mr Trump’s move to look into free trade agreements,” said Mr Sulayem, whose firm operates 76 ports and container terminals.
“Mr Trump is a businessman and I don’t think that he will do anything that harms businesses and trade across the world.”
The US leader signed two executive orders on the 100th day of his presidency on Saturday, directing a review of Nafta and other free trade agreements.
But the White House has said that he “agreed not to terminate Nafta at this time”.
Mr Sulayem said: “I think what the present US administration is trying to do is to look into certain areas of the trade agreements that puts the US in a disadvantageous position. What Mr Trump is trying to achieve is fair trade. And with due respect to all, trade should be fair and beneficial to all the parties involved.”