Malaysian PM Mahatir Mohammad warns nation of trade sanctions
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Monday his exports-reliant country could be hit with trade sanctions amid rising protectionism highlighted by the US-China tariff war.
Mahathir did not mention the source of possible sanctions on the Southeast Asian country but said he was disappointed that proponents of free trade were now indulging in restrictive trade practices on a "grand scale".
"Unfortunately, we are caught in the middle," he told a conference in the capital Kuala Lumpur, referring to the U.S.-China trade war.
"Economically we are linked to both markets, and physically we are also caught in between for geographical reasons. There are even suggestion that we ourselves would be a target for sanctions."
The United States and China were two of the three biggest export destinations for Malaysia between January and August this year. Singapore was the top destination.
To cushion the impact of the collision between the superpowers, Mahathir said Malaysia was collaborating more with its regional neighbours.