President Donald Trump has denied that he is planning to withdraw the US from the World Trade Organisation, but accused the global trade body of treating America “very badly”.
Trump’s remarks came amid reports that he has told his top officials that he wants to withdraw the US from the WTO.
“We’ve been treated very badly by the WTO…It’s a very, very unfair situation. When you look at the WTO, that’s where China emerged, when they joined the WTO, Trump told reporters.
Asked about reports that he is considering withdrawing from the WTO, Trump said, “I’m not talking about pulling out. I’m saying they haven’t treated us fairly. We have not been treated fairly.”
“We have been treated very badly. We have lost many, many cases over the years…We’ve had minority judges..we’ve had a minority position in judges. The WTO has to start treating the United States fairly because they have not treated us fairly,” he said.
Trump is a longtime critic of the WTO. He often complains that the world trade body is biased against the US.
He also reiterated his allegations that other nations had taken advantage of the US because of bad negotiating by past presidents.
Our leaders have let it get away, missing in action. We will be treated fairly. We will be treated very fairly. But we have not been treated fairly on trade, he said.
If you look at the European Union, it’s USD 150 billion deficit. If you look at China, it’s USD 375. If you take any country look at Mexico, it’s USD 100 billion trade deficit…You look at Canada. Canada’s treated us poorly…but it’ll all work out,” he said.
Trump has imposed tariffs on imports of aluminum and steel earlier this year that has triggered new trade suits that will be considered by WTO panels.
The tariffs have also led to retaliation by US allies, including Canada and the European Union.
Canada has announced billions of dollars in retaliatory tariffs against the US in a tit-for-tat response to the Trump administration’s duties on Canadian steel and aluminum.