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Australia, Canada, Singapore, Indonesia urge trade war end

Oct '19
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
In a plea without mention the name of the two economic superpowers, treasurers and finance ministers of Australia, Canada, Singapore and Indonesia recently urging the United States and China to abandon their trade war and cautioned that “the risks of collateral damage are growing”. The entire global economy is suffering as a result, they argued in an article.

“We should not resort to unilateralism and protectionism,” the group wrote in the article carried on the website of Australian Strategic Policy Institute publication ‘The Strategist’.

“Pursuing confrontation instead of dialogue will only exacerbate risks, erode confidence and weaken the prospect of global economic recovery. Compromise is key to achieving win–win outcomes and mutual trust,” they wrote.

While acknowledging that legitimate issues in the global trade system must be addressed, Frydenberg, the treasurer of Australia, Heng Swee Keat, deputy prime minister and finance minister of Singapore, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, finance minister of Indonesia, and Canadian finance minister Bill Morneau argue that uncertainty over the global outlook is forcing a slowdown in trade and manufacturing.

“Financial-market volatility and currency instability are on the rise, amid declining capital flows to emerging economies. Deteriorating global trade conditions are affecting investor confidence, business spending and productivity,” they wrote.

The ministers said the multilateral system established after the end of the second world war “allows both big and small countries to fulfil their potential”.

The ministers argued the multilateral system, in particular bodies such as the G20, can return the global economy to a more transparent and cooperative environment.

They cited the 2008 collective response to the global financial crisis and the 2015 measures to address multinational corporate tax avoidance as examples of international cooperation that had benefited all countries.

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October 2019

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