United States President Donald Trump on Thursday said he would pull out of the World Trade Organization if it doesn’t treat the US better, reported Bloomberg.
“If they don’t shape up, I would withdraw from the WTO,” Trump said Thursday in an interview with Bloomberg. Trump claimed the agreement establishing the body “was the single worst trade deal ever made”.
Trump also said the US “rarely won a lawsuit except for last year” at the WTO. “In the last year, we’re starting to win a lot,” he said. “You know why? Because they know if we don’t, I’m out of there.”
Earlier this week, the US launched a case against Russian duties on US arguing that it was illegal.
In July, Trump said the US was at a big disadvantage from being treated “very badly” by the WTO for many years, adding that the Geneva-based body needs to “change their ways”.
Trump’s comments follow reports in June that he had told White House aides he wanted to withdraw from the WTO. But Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said it is “a little premature” to discuss his country’s withdrawal from the trade organisation.
If the US withdraws from the WTO, it would potentially have far more significance for the global economy than the escalating trade war with China.
Trump has taken an aggressive stance on trade with allies and trading partners from Europe to China. He pulled out of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership shortly after taking office and said Washington and Mexico have agreed to revise key portions of the North American Free Trade Agreement.