Trade war threat damaging world economy, warns WTO chief

Roberto Azevêdo, World Trade Organisation director-general, said that the impact of the dispute between China and the US was already being felt globallyFABRICE COFFRINI/GETTY IMAGES

The threat of a trade war between the United States and China is unnerving business leaders and hitting the entire global economy, the head of the World Trade Organisation has warned.

Roberto Azevêdo, the WTO director-general, said that “just the possibility” of an escalation in the dispute between the two countries was having an impact on corporate investment decisions.

China has insisted that “no option is off the table” after President Trump ordered US officials to compile a list of products worth $100 billion that could be hit by tariffs. Both countries had already threatened to impose duties on exports from the other worth $50 billion.

Officials in Beijing have formally complained about the American proposals to the WTO, which was set up in 1995…

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