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September 25, 2018 11:15 AM, EDT

WTO Chief Urges Nations to Avert Trade War

Robert Acevedo and Angela Merkel WTO Chief Robert Acevedo and German Chancellor Angela Merkel hold talks in Berlin. (John MacDougall/pool photo via AP)

BERLIN — The whole international community has a responsibility to reduce tensions and avert a full trade war, which would produce “no winners,” according to the head of the World Trade Organization.

Trade tensions among the United States, China and others have spiraled, and WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo told attendees at a German business conference Sept. 25 that “the warning lights are flashing.”

“The continued escalation of tensions will pose an increased threat to stability, to jobs and to the kind of growth that we’re seeing today,” he said, noting that there is a time lag between the introduction of trade restrictions and the time when their full impact is felt.

“There will be no winners … and every region will be affected” by an all-out trade war, Azevedo said.