WASHINGTON (Reuters) - International Monetary Fund chief economist Maurice Obstfeld said there was still time for the United States and China to avoid a trade war through multilateral negotiations.
Speaking to a news conference before the start of IMF and World Bank spring meetings in Washington, Obstfeld said that it was too soon to declare that a trade war was underway as tariffs have not yet been activated.
“At this point, although some warning shots have been fired, it’s more of a phony war,” he said.
“There’s still room for countries, I think, to engage in a more multilateral set of discussions to take advantage of the set of dispute resolution mechanisms in place to avoid any intensification,” Obstfeld added.
Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama