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WTO cautions US-China tension could dent business

The World Trade Organization(WTO) predicts continued exchange development this year, however it cautioned Thursday that tensions and retaliatory measures, strikingly between the U.S. and China, could compromise those gains.

WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo laid out the trade body’s predictions at a news conference amid worries about a trade war over U.S. President Donald Trump’s planned tariffs on Chinese and different products and Beijing’s retaliation.

The way things are, the forecast is for 4.4 percent growth in merchandise trade in 2018, facilitating to 4 percent one year from now. That is down from 4.7 percent in 2017.

The WTO says there are “comprehensively positive signs” in world exchange however notes they confront headwinds from “a rising tide of hostile to trade sentiment and the increased willingness of governments to employ restrictive trade measures.”

Azevedo told reporters at the WTO headquarters in Geneva that the forecast “mirrors the stronger economic growth that we have been seeing in both developed and developing countries, and which is forecast to continue.”

“But let me be clear: these forecasts do not — and I repeat, they do not — factor-in the possibility of a dramatic escalation of trade restrictions.”

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