WTO: ‘Clear’ risk of trade war hap­pen­ing

New Straits Times - - Business -

PANAMA CITY: There is a “clear” risk of a trade war hap­pen­ing be­cause of pro­tec­tion­ist poli­cies, said World Trade Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WTO) chief Roberto Azevedo on Wed­nes­day.

The WTO’s di­rec­tor-gen­eral did not im­pli­cate any coun­tries by name be­hind such poli­cies, even though he was asked about the ef­fects United States Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s “Amer­ica First” stance could have on the global trad­ing sys­tem.

“The risk of a trade war is very clear,” said Azevedo.

“Once a coun­try, which­ever one, ap­plies uni­lat­eral mea­sures, there is a re­sponse from oth­ers and we could see a domino ef­fect,” he said. “The re­al­ity is that, at the end of the process, if we have a trade war ev­ery­body with­out ex­cep­tion will be worse off than when it starts.”

He was in Panama for meet­ings with gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and busi­ness rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

“The prob­lem we have is a global prob­lem: we have an econ­omy not grow­ing suf­fi­ciently fast and that gives rise to temp­ta­tions of uni­lat­eral pro­tec­tion­ist ac­tions,” he said. AFP

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