IATA: Trade tariffs to make 2019 ‘a very tough year for the air cargo business’

    IATA reported (17-May-2019) increasing tariffs on trade are damaging the global economy and prospects for 2019. The association reported international trade volumes stopped growing in 1Q2019, following a “sharp” slow down in growth in 2H2018. IATA said air cargo “suffered disproportionately”, with a 2% year-on-year decrease in 1Q2019, and attributed this “substantial weakening” in trade to the imposition of tariffs by the US in 1H2018 and retaliatory tariff increases by other countries. The most recent round of tariff increases by the US and China in May-2019 “could lead to a trade deal but negotiating positions seem to have hardened”, according to IATA. The association commented: “If tariffs are extended further they will include smart phones and computers, which will damage air cargo”. IATA stated GDP growth in 2019 will be 0.2ppt to 0.4ppt lower than previously expected, according to estimates, if tariffs are applied to all US-China trade. IATA stated: “This all points to a very tough year for the air cargo business, but reasonable though slower GDP growth should keep passenger traffic growing only a little below trend”. [more – original PR]