WTO chief urges states to stop first dominoes of trade war

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Director-General Roberto Azevêdo on Monday said the world is at risk of a trade war in the wake of President TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out "subversion" at VA MORE's announced tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum.

The departure of Gary Cohn, seen as a bulwark against Trump's economic nationalism, hit shares, oil and the dollar, as investors saw an increased likelihood of tit-for-tat trade measures that would depress global growth.

While the commission estimates that the tariffs announced by Mr Trump could affect €5 billion in annual European Union steel exports to the United States, and €1 billion in aluminium exports, the EU's "rebalancing" measures would only cover around €2.8 billion of USA exports.

A political cartoon showing President Herbert Hoover explaining his farm relief program to a farmer. The relief program is shown as a straw scarecrow scaring off hard times depicted as birds

But Trump's assertion that steel is a necessary component of a strong national defense - something the Department of Defense contradicted - could open the door for other countries to make similar broad moves against free trade in the name of national security.

The WTO has been reluctant to rule against that argument.

"A lot of the problem has been the World Trade Organization, which is over 160 countries, and a lot of them simply don't like us and so we don't get good results there", Navarro said.

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Trump also complained about a $500 billion trade deficit with China; it was a $375 billion deficit in 2017. In opening remarks, Lofven hinted at a point of conflict between the two friendly nations.

India's Tata Steel is concerned about US plans to impose tariffs on steel imports, a senior executive at the group's European unit said on Wednesday. "However, it is our goal to avoid a trade war".

In a sign of growing global alarm at the possible consequences of Trump's protectionist measures, Roberto Azevedo, the WTO's director general, said "in the light of recent announcements on trade policy measures, it is clear we now see a much higher and real risk of triggering an escalation of trade barriers around the world".

Malmstrom said so far it appeared the United States was poised to impose the tariffs globally, but she hoped that as "a security partner" the European Union be excluded.

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"We do not want this to go out of proportion, but. if it does happen we will have to take measures to protect European jobs".

German Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries said: "I hope Trump changes his mind".

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