June 13, 2018 / 6:30 AM / 10 days ago

WTO chief warns of global downturn if trade dispute escalates

BERLIN (Reuters) - If the trade conflict between the United States and other countries intensifies, it could negatively impact the global economy and there are indications this is already happening, the head of the World Trade Organization warned in newspaper.

World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Roberto Azevedo attends a meeting with the press in Geneva, Switzerland, November 27, 2017. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/Files

Asked if there was a risk for the global economy, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo told business daily Handelsblatt: “Absolutely. If the trade dispute escalates, there’s the risk of a global downturn and we’re already seeing signs that this downward process has already started.”

He said it was crucial to maintain dialogue to avoid an escalation.

Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Madeline Chambers

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