Philip Hammond: Trade War Will be ‘A Disaster For Everyone’

By Secretary of Defense via Wikimedia Commons

Philip Hammond, the British Chancellor, has warned that the trade battles of Donald Trump, the President of the United States of America, would turn into a global disaster.

Last Tuesday, Hammond said during an interview with CNBC-TV18, an Indian news Channel: “I very much hope that we can avoid a full-scale trade war (because) that would be a disaster for everyone, not least for the United States.”

This year, President Trump has agitated many of the trading partners of the United States with a series of tariffs that started with those that were imposed on the imports of steel and aluminium earlier in the year. Mexico, India, Canada, and the European Union have been among the economies to declare retaliatory tariffs on US products that are worth billions of dollars.

Last Monday, Harley-Davidson revealed the decision of the company to relocate some of its production of motorcycles that are intended for customers in Europe out of the United States, in order to avoid the tariffs that are imposed by Europe.

Read more: Harley-Davidson Likely To Move Production Out of US Amidst Trade War

The United States and China have also shared a series of aggressive trade-war rhetoric, with the tariffs on $50bn worth of goods that are imposed by both sides set to come into effect starting next month. This week, President Trump is anticipated to confirm a crackdown on Chinese investment in US technology that is aimed to throw a spanner into the ‘Made in China 2025’ initiative of China to boost its stature in the global tech sector.

The heightening tit-for-tat trade dispute between the United State and some other major economies in the world has affected financial markets in recent days, as global investors are concerned regarding the possible wider economic fallout of the “America first” agenda of Donald Trump. Today, the Shanghai Composite index of China dropped again, closing down by over 20 percent from a recent high that was achieved last January.

Hammond is in Mumbai to attend the annual meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. He said that the United Kingdom would continue to express its support on international free trade.

During the interview with CNBC, he stated: “Whatever happens, the UK will remain an outspoken proponent of open markets and free trade, low tariff barriers and low non-tariff barriers.”