In an oblique reference to the US, Indian Trade Minister Piyush Goyal urged countries under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) umbrella to undertake measures to lessen the adverse impact of protectionism by developed countries on global free trade.
"If this (trade war) continues there will be recession in the world and no country will escape it," Goyal said while speaking at an international dialogue on South-South and Triangular Cooperation in New Delhi on Thursday.
Goyal added that protectionist policies in the developed world were adversely impacting trade in goods, services, and protection of investments.
The minister said that all members of the WTO must re-engage to ensure rule-based, transparent, and non-discriminatory trade: "We cannot afford to walk away from the current system," he aded.
— Piyush Goyal Office (@PiyushGoyalOffc) August 22, 2019
Earlier on Wednesday, President Donald Trump told reporters outside the White House that by putting an increased pressure on China, he was simply cleaning up the mess left by his predecessors.
“Somebody had to do it. I am the chosen one,” Trump said.
The Indian economy has been coming under intense pressure from steps that the Trump administration has taken in the last two years.
Last year, the US imposed 25 percent and 10 percent tariffs on imported steel and aluminium, respectively. The US also cancelled India's duty-free access to the American market under its largest preferential trade scheme, which negatively impacted India's small and medium-size industries.
In keeping with its efforts to enforce sanctions, the US has also forced India and other countries to stop buying oil from Iran and Venezuela and demanded it scrap its purchase of S-400 air defence systems from Russia.
Amid Trump's tirade against the two Asian giants, China and India have increased their own trade relations in order to avoid the impact of American protectionism.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Hanhui said that trade frictions between China and the US and 'the spectre of trade frictions between the US and India' were of vital importance to both countries.