(Bloomberg) -- Go inside the global economy with Stephanie Flanders in her new podcast, Stephanomics. Subscribe via Pocket Cast or iTunes.

Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann warned that an escalation of the trade dispute between the U.S. and China would be “poison” for global growth and have an especially acute impact on the U.S. itself.

A retreat into isolationism is the worst possible reaction to economic challenges and a trade war only produces losers, Weidmann, a leading candidate to become the next European Central Bank president, said in a speech at a banking congress in Hamburg Thursday.

“Bundesbank calculations show, for example, that the U.S. risks damaging its own economy with the introduction of new tariffs,” Weidmann said. “Higher prices diminish the spending power of U.S. consumers.”

The recent tit-for-tat imposition of tariffs between the world’s two largest economies has alarmed European policy makers at a time when the euro area has started to show signs of stabilization. The region, and particularly Germany, its biggest economy, would be damaged by a further escalation of the U.S.-China trade spat as they rely heavily on exports.

In the latest development, President Donald Trump’s administration on Wednesday moved to bar companies deemed a national security threat from selling to the U.S., and threatened to blacklist Huawei Technologies Co. from buying essential components.

At the same time, the White House appears to have stopped short of antagonizing its allies including the European Union and Japan. Trump is poised to delay a decision by up to six months to impose auto tariffs, according to a draft executive order seen by Bloomberg. The EU has said it will retaliate if duties are imposed.

Auto tariffs would “hit German carmakers hard,” Weidmann said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Piotr Skolimowski in Frankfurt at pskolimowski@bloomberg.net;Birgit Jennen in Berlin at bjennen1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Fergal O'Brien at fobrien@bloomberg.net, Iain Rogers, Andrew Blackman

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.