Yes. Protectionism will exert a major impact on global trade. Talks between China and the US early this year and the results of the US Section 232 investigation into car imports will set the tone for the whole year.
The World Trade Organization lowered its prediction of global commodity trade growth from 4.4 percent to 3.9 percent last year. At 3.7 percent, the figure for this year will be even less.
Grim prospects may affect business confidence. "The shoe that all of us are waiting to see is: Does the uncertainty -- the policy uncertainty raised by this conflict -- spill over into investment and consumer behavior,'' Robert Koopman, the WTO's chief economist, told Bloomberg News last December.