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WTO head warns of retaliation risk after U.S. trade tariffs

Reuters  |  BRASILIA 

(Reuters) - U.S. Donald Trump's decision to slap tariffs on imported and could spark retaliation from other countries and lead to unforeseen consequences, the of the said on Monday.

"You know when it starts but not how it will turn out" when countries engage in mutual retaliation, WTO Roberto Azevêdo said in remarks to reporters after a meeting with Brazilian

has said it will seek exemption from the newly imposed tariffs.

"This process of tit-for-tat can induce at times trade wars that are in no one's interests," Azevêdo said. He called for a multilateral approach rather than multiple bilateral actions.

Trump last week said he would impose tariffs of 25 percent on and 10 percent on aluminium, sending countries scrambling to negotiate exemptions or consider retaliatory measures. Trump said that and would be exempt from the tariffs.

The has been in prolonged negotiations with and in efforts to revise the North American Free Trade agreement.

Azevêdo said was "exploring alternatives" for responding to the tariffs. Brazil, which is the second biggest supplier of to the after Canada, remains open for a dialogue to reach an understanding with the and is talking to other countries to learn about measures they are considering, he said.

Azevêdo said he did not know if would resort to the WTO's dispute resolution mechanism but said was not ruling it out.

Earlier on Monday, said had not made a decision yet on how to respond to the tariffs and needed to see what exactly the wanted in negotiations.

(Reporting by and Ricardo Brito; Editing by Leslie Adler)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, March 13 2018. 03:40 IST