Don`t blame China for taking our advantage, blame our leaders: Donald Trump

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin speaks with reporters outside the White House on Feb. 6 in Washington

The world's two largest economies have 24 more days in a three-month truce in their trade war before U.S. duty rates are due to rise sharply, which economists say could be a powerful negative shock to the global economy.

It predicted that the European Union would be the biggest victor, taking home some $70 billion in additional trade thanks to the trade war.

"The implications are going to be massive", Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Unctad's head of global trade, said at a news conference.

But the gains for some countries could be undermined by other aspects of the trade war, which has contributed to an economic slowdown in China and triggered volatility in global markets.

The US trade deficit has swelled more than 18 per cent since Trump took office, rising far faster than economic growth, and has hit record heights with China in particular.

As the March 1 deadline looms for Beijing and Washington to reach a trade accord to stave off further tariffs in their months-long trade war, the U.S. will send its chief trade negotiator Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to Beijing early next week. "US-China bilateral trade will decline and be replaced by trade originating in other countries".

The US-China dispute has also distorted major industries in some economies.

The report also said United States and Chinese firms won't benefit greatly from the protectionist policies.

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The study estimates that of the $250 billion in Chinese exports subject to United States tariffs, about 82% will be captured by firms in other countries, about 12% will be retained by Chinese firms, and only about 6% will be captured by USA firms.

The report indicated that the European Union stood to benefit the most, with companies in the bloc likely to capture around $50 billion of Chinese exports to the USA and about $20 billion of United States exports to China.

"Substantial effects relative to the size of their exports are expected for Australia, Brazil, India, the Philippines, Pakistan and Vietnam", it said. Japan, Mexico and Canada will each capture more than $20 billion.

In response, China imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of dollars worth of American imports.

Even if some European industries could benefit from trade that's pushed in their direction by the tariffs, numerous continent's top companies are far from immune from the conflict because of their globe-spanning operations.

But Brazilian farmers have struggled to capitalize on this development, according to the UN. That's because economies in the bloc are globally competitive and have the most potential to ramp up their exports, the report said.

However, the study also underscores that even for countries whose exports are set to increase because of the trade sparring, not all the results will be positive.

"One major concern is the risk that trade tensions could spiral into currency wars, making dollar-denominated debt more hard to service", the report added.

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