© Bloomberg. A Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), assembled in the U.S., sits in a rail car at the Port of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina.

(Bloomberg) — The World Trade Organization warned that a spike in trade restrictions by major nations is threatening to hold back the global economy.

Trade coverage on imports among Group of 20 countries — including tariffs, import bans and new customs procedures — topped $336 billion between October and May, the organization said in a report Monday. That’s the second-highest reading, after the prior period’s record $481 billion. The figure doesn’t include the actions under consideration or threatened by governments.

The finding “provides further evidence that the turbulence generated by current trade tensions is continuing, with trade flows being hit by new trade restrictions on a historically high level,” WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo said in the report. “This will have consequences in increased uncertainty, lower investment and weaker trade growth.”

Escalating tariffs have fueled concerns that the months-long trade war between the U.S. and China could undermine a pickup in the global economy. The International Monetary Fund has cut its 2019 global outlook to the slowest pace since the financial crisis, citing trade tensions as a risk to growth. Much could depend on whether President Donald Trump can de-escalate tensions during a meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping during the G-20 meeting this week in Japan.

“Several significant trade-restrictive measures which fall outside of the review period remain under consultation for potential later implementation. This further compounds the challenges faced by governments, businesses and consumers in the current global economic environment,” the WTO report noted.

READ  U.S. Treasury, USTR sign deal on post-Brexit insurance

The heightened tensions have thrown global goods exchange into turmoil as companies struggle to adjust their supply chains, stockpile items ahead of new sanctions, and rethink expansion plans. The uncertainty has hit the U.S. economy, with the manufacturing and trade-reliant sectors weakening.

There were 20 new trade-restrictive measures imposed in the latest period, fewer than recent months but the scale was much broader, the WTO said. The G-20 economies also introduced 29 new steps to facilitate trade, according to the report.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





READ SOURCE

WHAT YOUR THOUGHTS

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here