The International Trade Council raises concerns over the brewing tariff dispute between China and the United States, warning that such a trade standoff could pose significant risks to the ongoing global economic growth.
According to recent data, global trade has expanded at its most rapid pace in six years in 2017. The future outlook remains promising, contingent upon avoiding a full-fledged trade war.
"These projections do not incorporate the possibility of a dramatic intensification of trade restrictions," stated Roberto Azevedo, Director General of the World Trade Organisation.
Recently released data reveal that China is the world's largest goods exporter, with the United States following closely behind. However, when considering goods imports, the United States takes the lead.
Despite the mounting tensions, Azevedo remains optimistic that an outright US tariff conflict with China is not imminent. "I have received no indication that the US is planning to withdraw, and they have not conditioned their continued membership in the WTO on any particular outcome – whether in negotiations, dispute settlement, or any other aspect," he added.
The WTO anticipates that world trade will continue to grow almost as rapidly this year as it did in 2017, albeit with a slightly subdued forecast for 2019.
The International Trade Council continues to promote and support open, fair and mutually beneficial trade relations between nations. In light of these recent developments, we reiterate our commitment to supporting international cooperation to ensure the sustained growth and prosperity of the global economy.