Escalating trade war unstoppable: Minister

JP/Anton Hermansyah

 

 

Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution said on Friday the escalating trade war between the United States and China, which has ensnared other countries, has dragged the global economy into deeper uncertainty.

“The trade war has become unstoppable. Each country must now start to develop its own strategy,” said Darmin in response to the further weakening of the rupiah as quoted by kontan.co.id.

The rupiah hit Rp 15,182 to the US dollar on Friday, according to the Jakarta interbank spot dollar rate (JISDOR), or 0.32 percent lower from the previous day.

A pessimistic Darmin said the negative sentiment of the trade war would not subside in the first quarter of 2019 because he did not see any indication that the belligerents would end it.

“This uncertainty will continue because the trade war does not seem to be abating. It has become more varied, not only is it raising tariffs, it is now also affecting the establishment of [trade] agreements. It’s becoming more complicated,” the minister asserted.

He said the key player of the trade war was US President Donald Trump.

Therefore, Darmin wanted to know if the US president would still go ahead with his current economic policy, which started the trade war, particularly ahead of the November mid-term election in the country.

He said the government would no longer focus on a short-term policy in dealing with the trade war, adding that it had started to prepare a medium-term policy.

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