A dire warning was issued by the director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Monday.
Director-General Roberto Azevedo cautioned that President Donald Trump's decision to place tariffs on steel and aluminum imports would have global repercussions and urged him to reverse course, saying, "An eye for an eye will leave us all blind, and the world in deep recession."
Azevedo added that we "must make every effort to avoid the fall of the first dominoes."
The warning follows less than a week after Mr Trump shocked global markets by saying he wants to impose a 10 per cent tax on aluminium exports, and a 25 per cent tariff on steel imports. That announcement was met with swift threats from the international community, including key allies like the European Union and Canada, which pledged to retaliate if the American president makes good on his plan.
Trump faces opposition to the tariffs at home as well, and not solely from the Democrats.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, the top ranking Republican in the legislative body, urged the President not to finalise his tariff plans, saying that doing so could have a drastic effect on international markets.
"We are extremely worried about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the White House to not advance with this plan," Mr Ryan's spokesperson, Ashlee Strong, said. "The new tax reform law has boosted the economy and we certainly don't want to jeopardise those gains."
But so far, there are no signs that the president will walk away from the decision; Trump said Monday he is not backing down and does not believe a trade war will be ignited.
White House officials also claim he is committed to the move.
"The President has announced that this will happen this week. I have no reason to think otherwise," Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told NBC on Sunday.
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro reinforced that notion, saying that rumours that Mr Trump might exempt American allies from the tariffs were wrong.
"There will be no country exclusions," Mr Navarro told CNN on Sunday.