HOUSTON - Tariff escalation among countries could have a negative impact on the global oil and gas industry and the world economy as a whole, a US energy expert said Monday.
Anna Mikulska, a nonresident fellow in energy studies at the Baker Institute, told Xinhua that she is concerned about the recent trade tensions between the United States and China as the tariff escalation will slow down investment and increase costs in the US oil and gas industry.
On Friday, the US administration ignited trade tensions by imposing a 25 percent additional tariff on $34 billion of imports from China, which was forced to retaliate.
The Trump administration is also pushing tariffs against other countries.
"If more countries start imposing tariff on products of US oil and gas, it could become more problematic," said the expert at the Houston-based US think tank and a nonpartisan center for public policy research.
Mikulska said a possible trade war resulting from tariff hikes could slow down the world economy. "If the economy slows down, one concern is how much oil and gas can be consumed," she added.
Mikulska said studies showed if the world economy, especially the Asian economy does not perform well, "US oil and gas production also does not perform well, just because the market doesn't have much of demand."
She said imposing unilateral tariff is not helpful to the economy. The move will result in "cutting access to goods, increasing cost of the consumers, potentially slowing the economy for both sides."
Instead, multilateral solutions are considered better options as they are designed under rules of the World Trade Organization where concerned countries sit together and discuss how things can be done, she said.