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Trade war worry

SHAWN CUMBERBATCH, [email protected]

Trade war worry

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THE THREAT of a world trade war is growing and Barbados could find itself like an ant beneath elephants, a Geneva-based Barbadian trade specialist has warned.

Matthew Wilson, chief advisor and chief of staff to the executive director of the International Trade Centre (ITC), told the DAILY NATION yesterday Barbados had to be “concerned” about the tariff tit-for-tat involving the United States and some of its major trading partners here.

“When you are a small open economy, you do not want to be the ants in the grass that the elephants fall on. We are far too linked to anything that can happen in this world for us not to pay attention to this,” he said.

“This has serious implications for us. I know that people talk about trade war but it really is a possible attack on multilateralism. Barbados needs strong multilateralism; we cannot go back to a bipolar world where we don’t have mechanisms to have our voice put out there.”

The ITC is the joint development agency of the United Nations and the World Trade Organisation.

Wilson and the executive director Arancha González are here at the invitation of Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley and are expected to brief Cabinet on trade issues and competitiveness issues today.

In an interview at Baobab Tower, Warrens, St Michael, Wilson said the “trickle-down effect” of rising global trade tensions meant “it could become more expensive for us to import certain products, [and] trade could be diverted”. (SC)

Read the full story in today’s Daily Nation, or in the eNATION edition.