Prime Minister Gaston Browne says he fears that the ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China will lead to increase in prices of goods locally.
Browne says 80 per cent of goods we consume come from the United States.
He told radio listeners that the dispute will increase prices for certain consumer goods in the US.
“My understanding is that even Walmart has recently increased its prices and I am sure other US stores and suppliers will increase their prices if this trade war continues.
So we have to watch that very closely and we have a policy that anything that affects us we are defending our interests,” he said.
The prime minister is calling on the two world powers to resolve the issue.
“We will call on China to cooperate with the United States and similarly we will call on the United States to try and resolve the issues as soon as possible because while the elephants are fighting they are literally trampling on the grass, they are hurting us,” he said.
Browne said, “we have a voice and the good thing about…we have a stake we have a vested interest and if they going to be involved in a protracted trade war that’s going to increase prices here we are going to make our voice be heard.”
The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development(OECD) said that an intensification of the dispute between Washington and Beijing would likely knock as much as 0.7% off the level of global GDP by 2021-22.
Under such a scenario, the hit to the world economy from higher tariffs could be quantified at almost $600bn (£472bn).
US President Donald Trump has complained about China’s trading practices since before he took office in 2016.
The US launched an investigation into Chinese trade policies in 2017. It imposed tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese products last year, and Beijing retaliated in kind.
After months of hostilities, both countries agreed to halt new trade tariffs in December to allow for talks.
Optimism had grown over the prospect of a deal, but that faded, and now the US has more than doubled tariffs on $200bn (£153.7bn) worth of Chinese products.
Beijing retaliated three days later with tariff hikes on $60bn of US goods.
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This is getting serious and it’s not a matter that anyone should take lightly!!
Let’s create a Free Trade Agreement between Antigua and China. Let’s start acting like an independent nation that can do creative things rather than live and die by whatever happens in the US.
China likes Antigua and we should therefore have a stronger trade and tourism relationship with them, bypassing the US. Let’s have visa-free travel between a China and Antigua ASAP!
China does not want Antiguans…China wants Antigua for what they can get out of it and its’ strategic location to the USA. If you do the research you will find out that China is one of the most racist and destructive countries on this planet. Antigua and whatever other islands/countries they can bankrupt fit into their world domination and resource plunder plans. 98% of our food comes from the USA and I really don’t think we want fake beef, rice and veg. from China. One would have thought that the WPP would have served as a lesson learned but I guess not!
Any higher prices on goods and services we are doom.
Thank God for social media that some of us here in Antigua & Barbuda already knows about Walmart, Target, Macy’s and other retailers in America had already increases their prices.
Wow!!..the PM has a case of delusions of grandeur if he thinks his voice is even noticed…
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