英国央行(Bank of England)行长警告，一场全面的贸易战可能会明显拖累全球经济增长，其程度将远远超出提高关税的直接经济影响。
Speaking on the eve of the scheduled imposition of duelling tariffs by the US and China — which analysts fear could spiral into a broader trade war — Mark Carney said that Brexit highlighted the damage that could be wreaked by factors such as greater uncertainty.
As a result, he suggested, a 10 percentage point increase in duties by the US and its trading partners could, in a worst-case scenario, slow US output by as much as 5 per cent over three years.
“The experience of Brexit underscores that the impact of global trade war will be greater the more business confidence is affected, the more financial conditions tighten and, most fundamentally, the more permanent the loss of openness is expected to be,” Mr Carney said.
The BoE calculates that the tariffs already announced by the US, EU, China, Canada and Mexico would, if implemented, double average bilateral tariffs and raise average US tariffs to their highest level for more than 50 years, to about 4.5 per cent for imports from China and 6.2 per cent for imports from the EU.
The direct effect of these measures would be small and largely confined to the countries directly involved, added Mr Carney, who also chairs the international Financial Stability Board.
But the BoE’s models suggest that a larger increase in tariffs of 10 percentage points between the US and all its trading partners could take 2.5 per cent off US output and 1 per cent off global output through trade channels alone.
He added that if all states increased tariffs against each other, then the hit to growth “would be substantially greater”. If global business confidence fell, financial conditions tightened and the tariffs were viewed as permanent, this “could plausibly double the losses in output”. “In these regards, the current UK experience with Brexit can provide some insight,” Mr Carney added. Even though Britain is not scheduled to leave the EU until March, he argued that uncertainty over future trade relations had already sapped UK business investment and the squeeze on real incomes caused by sterling’s depreciation had hit consumer confidence.
As a result, the UK economy had grown up to 2 percentage points less than the BoE would otherwise have expected, given the strong global backdrop and fiscal policy, he said.
Over the longer term, these losses would be aggravated because a loss of trade openness would be likely to drag on productivity growth, he added.
“As we know, the intention of Brexit is not to turn inwards but to broaden openness over time,” Mr Carney said, in a reference to the UK government’s plans to strike new trade deals. “But Brexit will, for a period, be an example of de-globalisation because any reduction in openness with the EU is unlikely to be immediately compensated by new ties of a similar magnitude with other trade partners.”