WTO predicts slower global trade growth as tensions escalate


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Accra, Sept. 27
(DPA/GNA) – The tariff spat between the United States and other major economies
will slow global trade growth in 2018 and 2019, the World Trade Organization
(WTO) said Thursday in Geneva.

The global export and
import of goods is now expected to increase by 3.9 per cent this year, down
from the WTO’s April forecast of 4.4 per cent.

Next year’s growth
rate projection was lowered fr

Accra, Sept. 27
(DPA/GNA) – The tariff spat between the United States and other major economies
will slow global trade growth in 2018 and 2019, the World Trade Organization
(WTO) said Thursday in Geneva.

The global export and
import of goods is now expected to increase by 3.9 per cent this year, down
from the WTO’s April forecast of 4.4 per cent.

Next year’s growth
rate projection was lowered from 4 to 3.7 per cent.

“While trade
growth remains strong, this downgrade reflects the heightened tensions that we
are seeing between major trading partners,” WTO Director General Roberto
Azevedo said.

Global trade tensions
have escalated in recent months, with the US imposing high tariffs on steel and
aluminium imports while also targeting 250 billion dollars’ worth of Chinese
imports. China and the European Union have reacted with retaliatory measures.

In April, the WTO had
warned that this escalation could hurt otherwise strong growth.

Although the tariffs
have had little direct effect so far, they have created uncertainties that may
already have led to lower investments, the WTO said Thursday.

“More than ever,
it is critical for governments to work through their differences and show
restraint,” Azevedo added.

The WTO said tariffs
are only one of several risks to global trade. Interest rate increases in
developed countries could drain capital from developing and emerging economies
while commodity supplies could be threatened by geopolitical tensions, the WTO
said.

The WTO also warned
that China’s economic shift from investment towards domestic consumption may
affect global trade, as Chinese investments rely heavily on imports.

“Overall, risks
to the forecast are considerable and heavily weighted to the downside,”
the WTO concluded.

GNA


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