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WTO downgrades forecast on Trump trade war

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has taken aim at US president Donald Trump's protectionist agenda while downgrading its global trade forecast.
The arbiter of trade disputes said developments since its earlier warnings around trade wars had now had an impact on growth expectations for both this year and next.However, it did admit that US-inspired measures - particularly against China - only had a modest effect on business to date.It forecast world trade in goods would grow by 3.9% this year, down from the 4.4% it had expected in April.The figure for 2019 was reduced to 3.7% from 4%.It also blamed the effects of rising interest rates by major central banks.Speaking less than 24 hours after the US Federal Reserve raised its key rate for the third time this year, the WTO said such moves were inflicting extra costs that developing market economies could not afford.
WTO downgrades forecast on Trump trade war

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Jerome Powell took over as Federal Reserve chairman earlier this year, succeeding Janet Yellen
In the months since the WTO's April forecast, the White House has taken aim at the EU, Canada and Mexico on trade but concentrated its firepower on China - the world's second-largest economy behind the US.While seeking to tackle, what Mr Trump sees, as massive trade imbalances he has also accused Chinese enterprises of piracy through intellectual property theft and of meddling in US elections.There are now steep US tariffs on more than $250bn worth of imports from China - amounting to almost half the value of its exports to the US.Beijing has hit back with its own measures though it is running out of US goods to hit with extra charges.
WTO downgrades forecast on Trump trade war

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Latest tariffs take effect in US/China trade war
Mr Trump has threatened to target virtually all Chinese goods unless the country backs down.
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