Right-wing populist politicians, like US presidential candidate Donald Trump, are "toxic" for the economy, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said at a conference on Tuesday.

"There are people who always have an easy answer ready for the problems of an increasingly complex and compact world," Steinmeier told a group of business representatives in Berlin, citing loud-mouthed Trump and right-wing populists in Europe as examples.

"They operate under the motto: Isolation is the best solution," Steinmeier added.

He described this type of populism as nationalistic and xenophobic, as well as protectionist in a business context. "When both go hand in hand, it's dangerous for politics and for the economy," said Steinmeier.

Populism's resistance to a more open world, he argued, "is toxic for politics, and that is toxic for the economy, which depends on openness and networking."

Steinmeier has criticized Trump on many occasions, while Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that she will not interfere in US elections.

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