WTO warned that global trade will continue to face “strong headwinds” this year and next due to “rising trade tensions and increased economic uncertainty. For 2019, growth in trade volume is forecast to slow to 2.6%, down fro 3.0% in 2018. Though, trade growth should pic up again to 3.0% in 2020. It also warned that trade tensions still pose the greatest risk to the forecast, but a relaxation could provide some upside potential.
In the press release, WTO Director General Roberto Azevêdo said: said “it is increasingly urgent that we resolve tensions and focus on charting a positive path forward for global trade which responds to the real challenges in today’s economy – such as the technological revolution and the imperative of creating jobs and boosting development.”
WTO’s chief economist Robert Koopman also warned that “any automobile tariff would likely have bigger knock on effects through the global economy than what we see from the U.S.-China conflict.”