COMMENT:

What the heck is happening to global trade? This is a question G7 finance ministers and central bankers might have asked as they met in Chantilly in France this week.

At the start of the previous decade, global trade was growing at almost 8 per cent a year, twice the pace of growth in gross domestic product. This year, however, the World Trade Organization expects trade to rise by a mere 2.6 per cent — the same as projected global GDP growth.

Unsurprisingly, this turnround has sparked hand-wringing about the cost of the current trade wars. Indeed, G7 ministers

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