Maersk Gives Major Global Trade Warning


Danish conglomerate A.P. Møller Mærsk has voiced concerns over how a potential shift in US policy threatens to reduce global trade, according to Bloomberg.

Trond Westlie, CFO of Maersk, said: “In general, trade barriers weaken global growth. Low trade barriers not only help trade growth, but also economic growth. Trade barriers should be reduced as much as possible.

“That opinion stands whether we’re talking about Brexit or the US, but also for tariffs in Africa or South America, for example. So it counts for all countries, not just individual ones.”

PTI previously reported that Maersk had seen a loss of almost US$1 billion in Q2, 2016 compared to the same period in 2015 as a result of weakening freight rates and a low oil price.

A number of other carriers have also seen losses, with Hapag-Lloyd seeing a revenue decline of $1 billion and also Hanjin recently being announced as having a year to raise more than $1 billion or it could face bankruptcy.

In a previous report by PTI, the Director-General of the World Trade Organization had called on its members to avoid putting up trade barriers in order to get trade moving again.

This followed concerns by Korean exporters that protectionist policies are on the increase and could affect its exports going to the UK, in light of the UK's recent decision to leave the EU.

Around 15% of the world’s manufactured goods are transported by Maersk Line every year, with its total fleet of 605 vessels.

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