Growth in global commerce has slowed sharply since the US-China trade dispute escalated in mid-2018, and an array of economic indicators suggest that the year-long row is having an increasing effect on the global economy.

Negotiators from the world's two largest economies are preparing to meet in Washington on Thursday in an effort to resolve an eleventh-hour impasse in their trade deal talks.

Evidence is accumulating that the tariffs which now affect more than 50 per cent of bilateral trade between the US and China are curbing global commerce, driving up prices for American consumers and holding back business investment

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