WTO enters a currency row

THE HEAD of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) stepped into an escalating row over currency policies yesterday, saying growing disputes about exchange rates could threaten global trade and economic recovery.

WTO director-general Pascal Lamy said governments had largely resisted resorting to conventional trade measures such as higher tariffs to protect jobs in the wake of the crisis.

Disorderly currency movements could damage stability in the trading system, especially if they were seen to be the pursuit of comparative advantage through exchange rates, he said.