U.S.-China trade war: Other countries worry there’s “no greater threat” to global economy

Global stock markets were mostly higher Friday morning in volatile trading as investors appeared to hope that the United States and China might yet reach a deal to solve their escalating trade war. The big European markets were up around a point while Chinese exchanges saw gains of around 3%, with traders noting an increase in Chinese institutional investors buying to support the country’s financial markets.

China’s Commerce Ministry said the nation would take unspecified “necessary countermeasures” after the Trump administration raised duties on $200 billion of Chinese imports to 25% from 10%. The tariff hike came just after 12 a.m. on Friday, hours before Trump administration trade officials were to resume negotiations with their Chinese counterparts.Trump: “Process in place” to boost hike tariffs on rest of Chinese goods”Investors are still clinging to the hope that the U.S. and China will eventually manage to agree some sort of deal,” analysts at financial firm Rabobank said in a commentary. The increased tensions, if not resolved soon by a deal between Beijing and Washington, could have an impact on the global economy far beyond those two capital cities and the nations behind them. Below is reaction from various government officials around the world, which will be updated:
France: “No greater threat to world growth”French Finance Minister Bruno le Maire told the CNews television network on Friday: “There is no greater threat to world growth… to the standard of living of everyone listening to us, than a trade war between China and the United States. Because it means that trade tariffs will go up, fewer goods will circulate around the world, we won’t be able to circulate our own French goods as easily around the world, and jobs will be destroyed. A trade war will destroy jobs in France and in Europe, and in this area too, Europe has to unite to resist that.”Britain: “Very serious” effectBritish Finance Minister Philip Hammond told Sky News that he was optimistic, but that an escalated U.S.-China trade war would have a “very serious” negative effect on both the U.K. and global economies. “I’m optimistic that in the end there will be a deal between China and the U.S. That’s very important for us in the U.K. because our economy is a very open economy, so it’s very exposed to what’s happening elsewhere.”  Japan pushes for “dialogue”Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kotaro Nogami told reporters that Japan hoped the U.S. and China would resolve their trade disputes through dialogue. He said an escalation of trade restrictions would not serve anyone’s interest.Japan’s economy has taken a hit from lower Chinese exports to the U.S.Nogami said any trade measures should be in line with rules set by the World Trade Organization and Japan hopes “both the U.S. and China will work to constructively resolve their problems through dialogue.”

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