Real risk of “devastating” trade war – Singapore cbank chief

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SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Singapore’s central bank chief said on Thursday that there is now a real risk of a trade war that could deal a devastating blow to the global economy.

FILE PHOTO: Ravi Menon, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), speaks at the Singapore Fintech Festival in Singapore November 16, 2016. REUTERS/Edgar Su

U.S. President Donald Trump has recently imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, sparking threats of retaliation from some trade partners, and called on China to cut its trade surplus with the United States by $100 billion.

The move has sent stock markets around the world tumbling as fear of a trade war mounts.

“There is a real risk now that that (trade war) would happen because these things are not easy to control. And while everyone agrees that a trade war is bad, sometimes you can’t help but retaliate when you are hit with tariffs,” Ravi Menon, the managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), said at the Asia Money2020 conference in Singapore.

Asked what impact such a trade war would have on the global economy, Menon said it would be “devastating”.

Reporting by John Geddie and Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Kim Coghill

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