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World GDP Growth to Dip from 3.7% in 2018 to 3.2% or Lesser in 2019 if Trade Wars Intensify
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Trade wars roiled the world economy in 2018, and continue to have a detrimental impact in 2019 as well. While the US and China are expected to slow down in 2019, indirect effects of trade wars are also seen to be impacting export-reliant economies such as Germany and Japan. This research has been designed to provide insight into additional tariffs under recent trade wars, trade war scenarios, trade war impact on economy and industry, mitigation strategies, as well as growth opportunities.In terms of impact on business, we see that businesses are having to deal with higher import tariffs by passing costs to consumers, pursuing cutbacks to investment, layoffs and so on. These are some of the key mitigation strategies that are emerging. The research also explores some other strategies that firms could increasingly rely on in the near term. While the US avoided increasing additional tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports from 10% to 25% on March 1st, 2019, it still remains to be seen if a US-China trade deal can be struck. Even if struck, it is possible that the removal of US tariffs on Chinese imports could be a gradual process over years, based on enforcement with regards to structural issues. If a US-China trade deal is not arrived at, tariffs on both sides could be increased, resulting in a trade war intensification scenario. GDP growth for both the US and China, as well as the rest of the world, would in this case, slip to a greater extent that projected. Apart from a trade war intensification scenario, there are three other scenarios that could unfold in 2019- the continuation scenario (continuation of all additional tariffs imposed in 2018), the partial tariff removal scenario, and the conclusion scenario. With regards to industry impact, the automotive industry is one of the key industries that has come under pressure as a result of trade wars. Apart from additional tariffs imposed by China and the US on each other’s automotive imports, US manufacturers have also been challenged by higher US steel and aluminium import tariffs. There is also the threat of the US imposing 25% tariffs on all car and parts imports. The research also explores the impact of trade wars on the metals and minerals industry; more specifically with regards to steel and aluminium and copper.Businesses can leverage this research to gain more clarity on the trade wars outlook, understand trade war implications, and fine-tune strategic planning capabilities accordingly.
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Author: Neha Anna Thomas
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