A senior World Trade Organization executive said that the trade dispute between China and the US over import tariffs on tires has the potential to slow down economic recovery worldwide, Reuters reported. Valentine Rugwabiza, a WTO deputy director-general, said that while the US’s 35% hike in import tax for Chinese tires was not a protectionist measure, there was a serious risk of "spillover and tit-for-tat reactions" that would slow down world economies as they struggle to emerge from the financial crisis. Rugwabiza said that restricting trade had a particularly negative effect on emerging economies, which are already suffering during the financial crisis. "If the engine of trade is not put to work again, what countries have to understand is the consequences that that will have in terms of development, but (also) in terms of even political stability," she said. Beijing is still pushing for talks with the US about the tariffs at the WTO.