International Trade Daily™ provides rapid, reliable notification of the most significant developments affecting U.S. trade and international business policy, as well as the policies of major U.S....
By Brian Flood
Trade expansion will continue to soften in the third quarter of 2018, due in part to a slowing of export orders and auto sales, the World Trade Organization predicted in a report released Aug. 9.
Ultimately, this “loss of momentum” may reflect a “ratcheting up of trade tensions,” the report said, the latest warning from the global body against a rise of trade protectionism.
The WTO said the findings of the World Trade Outlook Indicator are broadly in line with previous forecasts, which predicted that merchandise trade growth would slow from 4.7 percent in 2017 to 4.4 percent in 2018.
“Rising trade tensions continue to pose risks to the trade forecast and will be monitored closely going forward,” the WTO said.
Trade in agricultural raw materials was the only index that saw significant improvement from the WTO report about second quarter growth, which was released in April. Projections for trade in electronic components and automobiles, container port throughput, and international air freight saw little change or were downgraded, the WTO data showed.
The WTO’s warning on automobile trade comes at a time the Trump administration has already slapped new duties on steel and aluminum imports, and is publicly mulling new tariffs on imported cars and auto parts. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said his agency will hold off on the auto tariffs while trade negotiations between the U.S. and European Union are ongoing.
The WTO is increasingly sounding the alarm about the rise of anti-free trade sentiment. “World Trade Organization data show a marked escalation of trade restrictive-measures over the past six months,” WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo wrote in an Aug. 9 opinion piece.
“The situation is extremely serious. Reciprocal trade restrictions cannot be the new normal. A continued escalation would risk a major economic impact, threatening jobs and growth in all countries and hitting the poorest the hardest,” Azevedo warned.
To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Flood in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerome Ashton at email@example.com
Copyright © 2018 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)