October 17, 2018 / 9:19 PM / in 8 months

Global trade system could be harmed without action: WTO's Azevedo

Roberto Azevedo, Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) talks during a trade conference at the 2018 International Monetary Fund (IMF) World Bank Group Annual Meeting at Nusa Dua in Bali province, Indonesia, October 10, 2018 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Jefri Tarigan/ via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - Severe damage could be done to the multilateral trading system unless political steps are taken to solve a “serious” crisis in global trade, Roberto Azevedo, director-general of the World Trade Organisation, said on Wednesday.

“Without action to ease tensions and recommit to cooperation in trade, we could see serious harm done to the multilateral trading system. And ... the long term economic consequences of this could be severe,” Azevedo said in remarks to a dinner in London, without referring directly to the United States and China which have been involved in an escalating trade dispute.

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; writing by Alistair Smout; Editing by Leslie Adler

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