United States media: Trump threatens to withdraw from WTO

US Treasury Secretary Slams Report That Trump Wants to Exit WTO

US Treasury Secretary Slams Report That Trump Wants to Exit WTO

"We think he's nuts, but not that nuts", one trade attorney tells Swan.

Bloomberg reported that while pledging to stand up to Trump on trade, and amid a separate US commercial dispute with China over intellectual property, the European Union leaders on Friday also made a decision to push for improvements in the way the World Trade Organization (WTO) operates.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin pushed back against the report during an interview Friday morning with Fox Business Network's Maria Bartiromo, calling it "fake news".

In a retaliatory move, Canada, Mexico, China and the European Union (EU) have imposed tariffs on U.S. goods. China has vowed in-kind retaliation. Trump has long criticized the WTO for allowing countries such as China to levy high tariffs on American goods such as cars even as its economy has matured, though as president he's stopped short of pledging to withdraw from the group. "We always get fucked by them [the WTO]", Trump frequently tells advisors, according to the source. He thinks there's aspects of it that are not fair.

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Lighthizer contrasted the USA actions with the EU: "The European Union has concocted a groundless legal theory to justify immediate tariffs on US exports".

"I think that the president's expressed frustrations with worldwide organizations from a sovereignty perspective, but I think that the president also believes that there's extensive tariffs assessed on American products overseas that's not a reciprocal tariff", Short said. "That it's not a reciprocal tariff". He told reporters that the WTO has to start treating the United States fairly. "If you want to change it you have to make serious proposals, but you don't just walk away", he said.

Mr. Trump has branded the WTO a "disaster" and flouted global trade norms by hitting key allies with stinging tariffs, and imposing crippling fees on Chinese goods in the name of US national security. He also reiterated his allegations that other nations had taken advantage of the United States because of bad negotiating by past presidents.

As such, it is unlikely that the U.S. will exit the organisation, with the President's economic advisers reportedly intent on focusing the administration's attention on addressing the WTO's framework rather than leaving it altogether.

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