Veteran emerging-markets investor Mark Mobius warns that the trade-tariff war between America and China will continue to linger and only turn nastier.
"(China is) going to be tough to begin with and they are not going to give in easily, because you're talking about (a $)300 million trade deficit in China's favor, so they are not going to give up that easily," the founding partner at Mobius Capital Partners recently told CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe."
"But I would say, maybe after six months they will come to some agreement and that will be done. But in the meantime, there will a lot of blood on the streets," said Mobius, who left Franklin Templeton Investments earlier this year to set up Mobius Capital Partners LLP.
President Donald Trump slapped tariffs last month on $200 billion in Chinese goods, bringing the total to $250 billion. Beijing retaliated by imposing duties on $60 billion in U.S. products, raising its total to $110 billion. China also rejected a U.S. offer to hold another round of formal negotiations.
Mobisu isn't alone in his dire warning.
Jack Ma, the co-founder of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and China’s richest man, recently predicted that the escalating trade war with the U.S. is going to be severe and long-lived, Bloomberg reported.
“It’s going to destroy not only China-U.S. trade, it will destroy a lot of small businesses,” Ma said during a speech at the World Trade Organization on Tuesday. “This thing may last for 20 years, unfortunately.”
Ma spoke at the WTO as the Geneva-based organization has come under threat from Donald Trump’s efforts to recast the international trading system in a way that he says will be more balanced to the U.S. The American president has targeted allies and adversaries alike, threatening tariffs on all of China’s exports, proposing levies on European car-makers and saying he could leave the WTO, which he has described as “unfair.”
Members of the rules-making body, including the European Union and Canada, are pushing plans to reform the WTO, which they say is encumbered by outdated regulations, an anemic negotiating agenda and a broken dispute settlement system.
Ma said that the business community is opposed to the trade war and that avoiding military conflicts depends on commercial order.
“Trade is not a weapon, trade is not for wars,” Ma said. “Trade is for keeping world peace.”
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