World Trade Could Falter on Tit for Tat Trade Tariffs, Warns WTO
Mevlut Katik
/SOURCE : Yicai

(Yicai Global) May 21 -- As trade tensions between China and the US have escalated, fears of a trade war and uncertainty worried global markets. However, an expert damage assessment came from the world's trade body, the World Trade Organization, or WTO, which warned about negative effects of trade tariffs.

The world trade volume recorded a 4.7 percent growth last year, the highest level in six years. WTO predicts a 4.4 percent global trade expansion this year although it says recent trade tariffs may cast shadow on it. It, therefore, forecasts only a 4 percent trade growth for next year.

Global trade could suffer from Tit-for-tat trade tariffs imposed by the US and China on each other, said WTO. The most rapid growth in global trade in six years could easily be undermined if the governments resort to restrictive trade policies, said WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo.

"A cycle of retaliation is the last thing the world economy needs," Azevedo emphasized.

China imposed 25 percent tariff on US imports in retaliation for the Trump Administration's 25 percent tariff on Chinese steel products and other varying degree of sanctions on different categories of imports from China.

 The effects of a major escalation on world trade could be serious, said the WTO director-general, warning, "Poorer countries would stand to lose the most."

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Keywords: Trade Tariffs , US , TRUMP , WTO , World Trade , Projection