BERLIN, May 15 (Xinhua) -- The German Federation of Industries (BDI) warned on Tuesday that the ongoing trade disputes between the United States and China are putting the global economy at risk.
BDI Director General Joachim Lang said "the longer the trade conflict lasts, the greater its impact on the global economy."
The trade disputes would "directly affect" European companies that have production facilities in the United States and China, Lang said.
In response to Washington's threatened global auto tariffs, which may particularly hit Germany, Lang said, "an escalation would affect U.S. consumers and the U.S. economy as well as the economies of U.S. closest allies."
"Customs duties under the guise of national security damage the U.S. and its NATO allies. This makes no sense either in terms of security policy or economic policy," Lang added.
Holger Bingmann, president of the German Association of Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services, also warned that the trade disputes would be "highly dangerous for the global economy."
"Many jobs and our economic prosperity depend on German companies' access to markets around the world," said Bingmann. "That's why the top political priority is to work to restore a sound and reliable framework for the global exchange of goods and services."
Galina Kolev, a foreign trade expert of the German Economic Institute (IW) said, "If Germany's largest and third-largest trading partners punish each other with customs duties, this cannot leave the German export economy unscathed."
"The trade conflict unsettles investors and hangs like a dark cloud over the world economy," Kolev said.
The IW lowered its forecast for world economic growth this year on Monday, predicting that the global economy is likely to grow by only 2.75 percent this year, more than half a percentage point less than that in 2018.