The risk of a trade war came sharply into focus in 2018, as protectionist threats by the US Administration and its trading partners were followed by concrete actions. Tensions rose over the summer and, while these have been defused on some fronts, the risk of further escalation remains material. The impact of the measures implemented so far on the global and euro area economic outlooks is expected to remain contained. However, large negative effects could materialise if trade tensions were to escalate further. Uncertainty related to protectionism is weighing on economic sentiment and it may raise further, potentially eroding confidence and affecting the euro area and the global economy more significantly. The complexity of intertwined international production chains could also magnify the impact.
© ECB - European Central Bank
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