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Sunil Bharti Mittal urges for resolution of global trade tensions


NEW DELHI: Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce said that tit-for-tat tariff increases proposed by the US and China will impact small businesses that rely on imports, while urging the world’s largest economy to engage in dialogue with trade partners to resolve the ongoing trade tensions.

The Bharti Enterprises’ founder and chairman added that any erosion of multi-lateral trading in the open markets due to rising tensions will be detrimental to all, besides damaging growth prospects for the US and global markets.

“Open markets underpinned by the rules-based multilateral trading system have been a vital driver of prosperity across the world over the past 50 years. Any erosion of that system will come at quite a cost to us all,” Mittal said in a statement on Tuesday, from Paris.

“A progressive closing of the world’s largest economy to trade will damage both US and global growth prospects. In an interconnected world, international commerce cannot be governed by zero-sum policy decisions. We encourage the US and all its trading partners to find new ways to resolve ongoing trade tensions through multilateral dialogue — and without recourse to further tariff increases,” he added.

Mittal added further that tariff hikes will inevitably impact small businesses that often rely heavily on imported goods and services. “Longstanding US trade policies, such as the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), have been shown to play a key role in supporting the growth of domestic small businesses and associated job creation.”

The comments come at a time when the US has proposed to impose tariffs on imports of more than 1300 products from China, including steel and aluminium. China has retaliated with tariffs on US goods including pork, wine, fruit and nuts.

Source: Economic Times