Daily Management Review

G20 Ministers Say Risk To Global Growth Posed By Trade Tensions


07/25/2018




Global economy could be undermined by trade tensions, said the G20 group of finance ministers.
 
Following its two-day meeting in Argentina, the group gave a call for enhanced deliberations for reduction of the risks.
 
The summit assumed importance because of he protectionist policies of imposing tariffs has been widely undertaken by the US government and President Donald Trump. On Friday, a day before the meeting, Trump even suggested that he was not averse to imposing tariffs on all of the Chinese goods imported into the US worth $500 billion.
 
Meanwhile the finance minister of France has said that no negotiations should be done by the European Union on trade with the US with "a gun to its head."
 
The G20 ministers said in a joint statement that risks to growth "over the short and medium term have increased. These include rising financial vulnerabilities, heightened trade and geopolitical tensions."
 
"International trade and investment are important engines of growth," they said. They added that they "recognise the need to step up dialogue and actions to mitigate risks and enhance confidence."
 
There has been an escalation in trade war between the China and the US recently with the US imposed tariffs on Chinese goods worth $34 billion on 6 July. Since then, another list of Chinese goods worth $200 billion has been released by the US for imposition of tariffs.
 
And last week Trump described the EU as a “foe” on trade.
 
Trade war is now a reality, said the French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire at the G20 summit. "The law of the jungle" formed the basis of the policy of imposition of tariffs unilaterally by the US, he said.
 
But China and EU were urged to open their markets to US companies by US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin while defending the tariffs.
 
There is a wide trade deficit for the US in trade with both China and the EU.
 
"World trade cannot base itself on the law of the jungle and the unilateral increase of tariffs is the law of the jungle," Le Maire said on Saturday.
 
"The law of the fittest - this cannot be the future of global trade relations. The law of the jungle will only turn out losers, it will weaken growth, threaten the most fragile countries and have disastrous political consequences."
 
He even said that until US lifts its tariffs on steel and aluminum, the EU should not consider agreeing to a free trade deal. 
 
The argument of Maire is simple and clear.
 
"My message is pretty clear, it's the same message the president delivered at the G7 (last month in Canada): if Europe believes in free trade, we're ready to sign a free trade agreement with no tariffs, no non-tariff barriers and no subsidies. It has to be all three," he said.
 
Mnuchin said China had to open its markets "so we can compete fairly".
 
(Source:www.bbc.com)






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