Shipping giant warns Trump tariffs 'could easily' end up hurting US the most
The CEO of the world’s largest shipping company, A.P. Moller-Maersk, warned that President Trump’s trade war “could easily” end up hitting the U.S. economy harder than the rest of the world.
Søren Skou said during a presentation at his company’s headquarters on Friday that the president’s escalating trade war “could easily end up being bigger in the U.S.,” Bloomberg reported.
Skou argued that while global annual trade growth could decrease by 0.1 to 0.3 percent, U.S. trade could suffer a blow of “perhaps 3 or 4 percent.”
“And that would definitely not be good,” Skou added, according to the news outlet.
He went on to say that while U.S. consumers have not been directly hurt by the president’s tariffs, that could change.
"The first thing the American importers would do if tariffs are put on Chinese consumer goods would be to buy in Vietnam, in Indonesia or elsewhere in Asia," Skou said.
"Big U.S. consumer brands like Nike produce in all of Asia, not just in one country, so there will be a substitution effect," he continued. "You can't get Nike sneakers or iPhones that are produced in the U.S. So it will end up being pushed on to the consumer."
So far, the U.S. tariffs have been focused primarily on industrial goods, Bloomberg noted, adding that the Trump administration could shift its focus to more consumer-based products, given the retaliatory nature of the conflict.
According to Bloomberg, A.P. Moller-Maersk transports roughly 20 percent of the world’s seaborne consumer goods.