Australia’s chilling China warning: Alliance of nations calls on Beijing and the US to end trade war as ‘risks of collateral damage’ become a ‘serious concern’ to the world economy
- Josh Frydenberg joins alliance calling on the US and China to end its trade war
- Fears feud is causing collateral damage to other countries, including Australia
- Federal treasurer among G20 finance leaders who issued a joint statement
- The leaders described the rising trade tensions as a serious concern
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has joined a growing alliance of G20 finance leaders to issue a dire warning to the US and China over their escalating trade war.
The treasurers and finance ministers of Australia, Canada, Indonesia and Singapore united in a joint statement to warn the superpowers their feud is causing ‘collateral damage’ to other countries and threatening the world economy.
Co-written by Josh Frydenberg, Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau, Indonesian Finance Minister Mulyani Indrawati and Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Heng Swee Keat, the statement described the rising trade tensions as a ‘serious concern’.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shakes hands with US President Donald Trump
Federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg (pictured) is part of an alliance of world leaders who have called on the US and China to end their trade war
‘While we acknowledge that there are legitimate issues that must be addressed, the risks of collateral damage are growing,’ the leaders’ statement published in The Australian read.
The leaders fear the Bretton Woods post-war multilateral system that provided global prosperity and a ‘financial safety net’ is now in danger of collapse and that steps were needed to reverse that course.
The warning comes as the world economy continues to struggle amid a slowdown in trade and manufacturing.
The leaders added the world needed to resist a return to unilateralism and protectionism.
‘We have seen a return of financial market volatility, currency instability and decreased capital flows to emerging economies. Dampened global trade conditions are affecting investor confidence, business investment and productivity,’ the statement joint read.
‘We must not resort to unilateralism and protectionism. Pursuing confrontation over dialogue will only exacerbate risks, erode confidence and weaken the prospect of global economic recovery.’
A chilling warning has been issued to US and China to cease its trade war (stock image)
There was a glimmer of hope of easing tensions on Thursday when US President Donald Trump postponed threats to impose a further tariff hike of five per cent on Chinese goods.
His talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to resume next month.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his government was focused on expanding trade opportunities.
‘We have lifted our trade agreements from less than 30 per cent — around 27 per cent – to 70 per cent over the last six years, expanding the borders of our trade to ensure Australians can earn more,’ the Prime Minister told parliament.