Global Economy

China regulator downplays trade war impact, warns on Forex

Beijing: The US escalation of trade tensions won’t solve any of its problems but will create volatility in global markets and hurt the world economy, according to China’s top financial regulator.

Higher US tariffs will have a “very limited” impact on China’s economy even if it raises levies to the maximum level, and would hurt the US about as much, according to a speech by Guo Shuqing, head of China’s banking and insurance regulator, and delivered at a forum in Beijing by a spokesman for the agency Saturday.

Guo, also the People’s Bank of China’s Party Secretary, is the highest-ranking financial official so far to publicly comment on the trade war since bilateral negotiations deteriorated earlier this month. His speech warned speculators that shorting the yuan would cause them to suffer great losses.

Many of China’s exports can be redirected to the domestic market as the nation shifts to a more consumption-driven economy, according to the speech. China will also find new overseas markets while continuing to ship many products to the US, as importers will be willing to share the tariff costs and some Chinese goods will prove difficult to replace, the speech said.

The world’s second-largest economy faces severe disruption from US President Donald Trump’s planned increases in tariffs on its goods, and the associated uncertainty that the worsening trade war brings. The People’s Bank of China has warned that trade tensions with the US could destabilise the global economy.


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