Trump Has Fighting Words for the World Trade Organization

Trump Has Fighting Words for the World Trade Organization

U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday that he would consider pulling the United States out of the World Trade Organization if it did not "shape up". But it is probably doable and then the USA would not benefit from the benefits of belonging to the WTO, their exports will be subject to whatever trade measures others would like to impose on them, including on intellectual property preservation. He had this to say: "We rarely won a lawsuit except for past year".

The highly controversial tariffs have been disputed even inside the White House, with former economic advisor Gary Cohn stepping down last spring over his condemnation of them.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has said allowing China into the WTO in 2001 was a mistake.

The U.S. on Monday told the WTO that it plans to block the reappointment of one of the its four remaining judges, a move that would significantly hinder the organization's ability to function. "You know why? Because they know if we don't, I'm out of there".

An initial complaint at the WTO was filed by China in July after Trump imposed his first round of tariffs. Earlier this week it launched a case against Russian duties on U.S. products that it has said are illegal.

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It is the forum for resolving disputes between countries about breaches of global trade rules and for negotiating new trade liberalisation.

Just hours earlier, the EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström had said the bloc was "willing to bring down... our auto tariffs to zero" provided that the United States did the same.

Of the 54 cases brought by the United States over the life of the WTO, Washington won at least one finding in its favour in 49, or 91 per cent, Lester said.

Officials from the European Union and Japan last week visited Washington to discuss potential changes, as well as joint efforts to take on China at the WTO. But change at the organisation may not come easy.

Many countries have complained to WTO about the USA raising import tariffs, including China against which President Trump is reportedly planning to impose $200 billion tariffs on Chinese imports as soon as next week, in addition to billions of tariffs the U.S. has already imposed on China. "But the WTO is in for a very large shock if it actually has to agree a new set of rules".

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