Global trade is under growing threat on multiple fronts. The United States-China trade conflict could escalate sharply this week if the Trump administration goes ahead with its threat to slap another US$200 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese products. Meanwhile, Canada resumes fraught negotiations with the US on the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Washington has also threatened to slap punishing tariffs on cars from the European Union and Japan.
Acrimony is at a high, but tit-for-tat tariff wars must not become the new normal in the conduct of international trade. If it does, the damage to economic growth will affect not just the parties concerned but all countries, Singapore included.