Donald Trump threatens to pull US from WTO 'if we have to'

Elias Hubbard
August 14, 2019

Trump, championing his "America First" policy, has been a vocal critic of India for levying "tremendously high" duties on U.S. products and has described the country as a "tariff king".

"They (India and China) were taking advantage of us for years and years", Donald Trump said.

US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that the United States may pull out of the World Trade Organization (WTO), following what he claims are years of mistreatment at the hands of the organization.

The WTO has always been an issue for Trump who has criticized its granting of developing-country status - and all the trade benefits that come with it - to countries with large economies, such as India but specifically China.

Addressing a gathering at Pennsylvania on Tuesday, President Trump said India and China - the two economic giants from Asia - are no longer developing nations and as such they can not taken the benefit from the WTO.

He said China has "ripped off" the United States for years with the support of USA money through the WTO, and if the worldwide trade regulator isn't going to be fair, "we don't need it". Meanwhile, the United States is presently locked in a rough trade war with China after Trump slapped punitive tariffs on Chinese goods and Beijing retaliated.

Trump recently directed US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to secure changes in the group that would prevent developing countries from utilizing regulatory loopholes.

Chad Bown, a trade expert with the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said the moves weakening the WTO have done "lasting damage", not all of which can be reversed.

"They view certain countries like China, India, many countries - they've viewed them as growing, they are growing nations".

"And they had tremendous advantages", he said.

"We're not letting that happen anymore.Everybody is growing but us", he said.

Trump has made the WTO the target of many previous attacks, and threatened before to withdraw, claiming unfair treatment toward the USA and saying Washington does not have to abide by WTO rulings.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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