The longer the trade war between the United States and China continues, the greater the damage.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), all import duties already introduced and the recently announced additional rates may cost the world economy 0.5 percentage point in growth next year.
That amounts to around 455 billion dollars or more than the size of the economy of South Africa.
IMF top executive Christine Lagarde says the US and China are shooting themselves in the foot.
After all, the damage can easily be remedied by removing all imposed trade barriers.
She also finds the sanctions that the US recently imposed on Mexico worrying.
In the run-up to the G20 summit in Japan, Lagarde is calling on the economic superpowers to settle trade disputes and also to take steps to modernize the international trading system to ensure that a trade war like this one cannot happen again.
In the eyes of the IMF top woman, for example, the rules at the World Trade Organization (WTO) on subsidies and intellectual property rights are due for renewal.