A trade war between the U.S. and China represents the greatest threat to the world economy, the chairman of J.P. Morgan Chase International said on Friday.
"I think it's the greatest danger today to the world economy," Jacob Frenkel told CNBC's Steve Sedgwick at the European House Ambrosetti Forum when asked about the rapidly mounting import tariffs being proposed by the Trump administration and Beijing.
"It's still not a trade war — I would say there were some skirmishes, and there are skirmishes," Frenkel said. "I think we should all remember the disaster of 1931 — always good intentions, to protect American jobs, and the result was a catalyst to the Great Depression. We should avoid it at all costs."
Frenkel's comments come amid an escalating trade tussle between the world's two largest economies that has dominated headlines for the past few weeks, kicked off by President Donald Trump's announcement of sweeping tariffs on all Chinese steel and aluminum imports in early March.
The continuing tit-for-tat battle saw Beijing on Wednesday unveil tariffs of 25 percent on 106 U.S. export products, amounting to $50 billion annually.