President Trump Warns WTO, “If they don’t shape up, I would withdraw”
US President Donald Trump said he will pull out of the World Trade Organization (WTO) if it does not treat the US better, continuing his criticism of a cornerstone of the international trading system.
“If they don’t shape up, I would withdraw from the WTO,” President Trump said Thursday in an interview at the White House.
A US withdrawal from the WTO would severely undermine the post-World War II multilateral trading system that the US helped build
President Trump said last month that the US is at a big disadvantage from being treated “very badly” by the WTO for many years and that the Geneva-based body needs to “change their ways.”
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has said allowing China into the WTO in Y 2001 was a mistake. He has long called for the US to take a more aggressive approach to the WTO, arguing that it was incapable of dealing with a non-market economy such as China.
Mr. Lighthizer accused the WTO dispute-settlement system of interfering with US sovereignty, particularly on anti-dumping cases.
The US has been blocking the appointment of judges to the WTO’s appeals body, raising the possibility that it could cease to function in the coming years.
President Donald Trump is prepared to quickly ramp up a trade dispute with China and has told aides he is ready to impose tariffs on $200-B more in Chinese imports as soon as a public comment period on the plan ends next week it was reported Thursday.
The White House declined comment on the report.
The USD, RMB Yuan and US Treasury yields declined.
Trump has credited his electoral success to his hard line on trade, which he has argued hurts US workers and favors foreign competitors. Washington is demanding Beijing improve market access and intellectual property protections for US companies, cut industrial subsidies and slash a $375-B trade gap.
The world’s 2 largest economies have already applied tariffs to $50-B of each other’s goods in a tit-for-tat trade dispute. Talks aimed at easing tensions ended last week without major breakthroughs.
The new proposed 25% tariffs would affect consumer products including home building supplies, technology products, bicycles and apparel.
A public comment period on the proposal is set to end on 6 September and President Trump plans to impose the tariffs after that deadline.
Some sources said President Trump had not made his final decision, The Trump Administration officials have been divided over how hard to push Beijing.
President Trump, who has threatened to impose duties on virtually all of the more than $500-B of Chinese goods exported to the United States each year, told Reuters in an interview earlier this month that resolving the trade war with China would “take time” and that he had “no time frame” for ending it.
The report on President Trump’s China stance coincides with US negotiators pushing to hammer out a deal with Canadian counterparts to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).