OECD economists sound alarm over impact of amplified trade tensions

Editor’s note: This is another example economists falsely equating global trade growth, regardless of imbalances or cheating, with the prosperity of real people. The world cannot expect to excessively rely upon the US market for their growth. 

Global trade growth has “slowed abruptly” over the past year, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development says in its new forecast for 2019, warning that unless trade barriers are lowered, member countries’ living standards could drop by 2020.

[May 21, 2019 | InsideTrade.com]

OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said while a “number of downside risks” are discussed in the May 2019 assessment, “the biggest threat is the escalation of trade-restrictive measures.”

“The world economy is in a dangerous place,” he said at the OECD headquarters in Paris on May 21. “Unless there is a de-escalation of trade tensions, the outcome could be much worse than in our central scenario. Global trade growth has already fallen markedly, from 5.5 percent in 2017 to projected rates of 2.1 percent in 2019 and 3.1 percent in 2020. It should be growing at double the rate of GDP.”

He lamented the uncertainty sparked by protectionist trade policies, adding “If you don’t know if you have access to markets or at which tariff, you simply don’t invest.”

The 2019 Economic Outlook says “near-term trade prospects remain weak,” pointing to diminishing levels of exports orders “particularly in the euro area … where survey measures are currently lower than at any time during the euro area crisis.” The OECD represents the views of 36 member countries, including the U.S…

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