The new punitive tariffs imposed by the United States and the angry reaction of countries like China exacerbate the risk of trade wars, warns the World Trade Organization (WTO).
“Commercial wars can break out at any time and in ways we do not expect,” said Hobert Azeveddo, General Director of the WTO, speaking to the German Agency in Geneva.
“All it takes is for a member to adopt measures that another member may consider unilateral and unreasonable and react. At the time of retaliation, the escalation will begin, “Azevedo added.
In January, Washington announced it is imposing high tariffs on imported large laundries and solar panels to defend jobs in the US. China, South Korea, the European Union and others have already reacted to the tariffs imposed by Washington, calling for WTO consultations.
If the disputes are not settled in the WTO deliberations, Washington can face retaliatory measures. Azevedo commented that he lacked the constructive spirit shown by the US government in the recent past. The government of President Donald Trump calls for reforms in the WTO while hindering the appointment of members of the dispute resolution bodies of this international organization.
“I do not see at this stage a debate that could make us believe we are going to a solution,” he said.
However, the Director-General of the Organization has assured that he does not think there is any possibility that the US will leave the WTO.