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European Union warns Trump with legal proceedings at the WTO over trade tariffs

02 July, 2018, 05:38 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • US Treasury Secretary Slams Report That Trump Wants to Exit WTO

Trump has been repeatedly telling White House officials he wants out from the global trade organization, Axios reported Friday.

Trump was responding to an Axios report that he has privately told advisers he wants to withdraw the USA from the WTO, a move that would upend global trade and roil worldwide markets. "We always get fucked by them [the WTO]", Trump frequently tells advisors, according to the source. He told reporters that the WTO has to start treating the United States fairly.

The characterization bears an eerie resemblance to the discussions on tariffs, an issue on which White House staff stymied Trump's efforts for a long time before he lost his patience, but it would be harder for Trump to make a similar decision with the WTO.

"Obviously if he did try to pull out, that would create greater trade uncertainty, which is not good for the economy", he said.

In March of this year, President Trump concurred with a January report from the secretary of Commerce that found that certain steel and aluminum imports threaten US national security.

"I won't use our favorite word about the fake news but this is an exaggeration", Mnuchin told Fox Business television about the report.

In the past, Trump has been a vocal critic of the global trade body, calling it "unfair to the US" and a "disaster for the country".

European Union leaders on Thursday agreed "in substance" with proposals to improve the WTO in what appeared to be an effort to placate the US President. He has concerns about the WTO.

It came as Trump, who has railed against the WTO judges in the past, threatened to levy a 20 percent import tax on European Union cars, the latest in an unprecedented campaign of threats and tariffs to punish USA trading partners. He thinks there's aspects of it that are not fair.

"It would mean is that the USA could be faced with higher trade barriers in all of its major export markets, as these countries would no longer be bound by their promises to lower tariffs on United States goods or not to discriminate against U.S. goods", Lester said.

USA stocks wobbled briefly in premarket trading after the Axios report, but regained their footing following Mnuchin's comments.



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