June 13, 2018 / 6:32 AM / in 4 months

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.

Roberto Azevedo, Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), attends a news conference with representatives of the trade organizations after a meeting in the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, June 11, 2018. REUTERS/Michele Tantussi

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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