Australia calls for end to trade war

Jim Chalmers says US and China need to resolve their trade war so other countries arent impacted.
Jim Chalmers says US and China need to resolve their trade war so other countries arent impacted.

Both sides of Australian politics have urged an end to the escalating trade war between the US and China that sent Wall Street share markets reeling on Friday as fears of recession grows.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said when you have a trade tensions between two big countries, it's not just the protagonists who are affected.

"It's the by-standers as well,' Mr Frydenberg told reporters in Melbourne on Saturday.

"Australia's national interest here is very clear. It's in China and the US coming to the negotiating table, being able to resolve their differences and for the transparent rules based trading system to be maintained."

Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers agreed, warning "nobody wins" from the escalating trade war.

US President Donald Trump heaped an additional five per cent in tariffs on some $US550 billion of Chinese goods on Friday just hours after China unveiled tariffs on $US75 billion worth of US goods.

President Trump also demanded US companies move their operations out of China, stoking market fears that the global economy will fall into recession, and sending US stocks into a tailspin.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 623 points or over two per cent, with even larger percentage falls recorded on other key US stock indices, setting up a weak start for the Australian market on Monday.

"Nobody wins from the sort of conflict we're seeing between the Chinese and the Americans," Dr Chalmers told reporters in Brisbane.

"We need to see these issues resolved so that the other countries of our region and around the world aren't unnecessarily impacted by these issues."

He hoped Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison makes the most of his opportunity to work with other global leaders at the G7 meeting in France this weekend where he has been invited as a guest.

The US-China trade conflict will likely be a key issue at the meeting.

Australian Associated Press