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WTO chief calls for restraint, dialogue to ease trade tensions

World Trade Organization Director-General Roberto Azevêdo called on the body's members to practice restraint and dialogue to prevent any trade tensions.

Azevêdo said the WTO's Council on Trade in Goods examined and discussed several trade issues considered to be most pressing, including specific tensions that have arisen between various members in recent weeks.

Azevêdo urged WTO members to use the organization's forums and mechanisms to raise concerns and iron them out, as addressing them outside could "greatly increase the risk of escalation in a confrontation" and "could quickly lead to a less stable trading system."

"Disrupting trade flows will jeopardize the global economy at a time when economic recovery, though fragile, has been increasingly evident around the world," he added.

Azevêdo's comments come amid escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China.