Trade slowed in fourth-quarter, WTO says; auto tariffs, Brexit are 2019 risks
Updated : April 02, 2019 04:23 PM IST
In its annual forecast, the WTO said trade had been weighed down by new tariffs and retaliatory measures, weaker economic growth, volatility in financial markets and tighter monetary conditions in developed countries.
WTO chief economist Robert Koopman said worse may be to come, with an even bigger impact if US President Donald Trump goes ahead with a plan to impose high tariffs on global imports of cars later this year.
The WTO did not make a specific prediction about the impact of Brexit, but Koopman said in the worst case it would help push global trade growth down to the bottom end of the WTO's forecast range in 2019, 1.3 to 4.0 percent.