DONALD Trump has threatened to withdraw the US from the World Trade Organisation (WTO) yesterday if they don’t start acting more favourably towards his administration.
Trump’s comments come just one day after the US filed a lawsuit against Russia at the WTO after they introduced additional duties on US goods.
The White House claims these duties break international trading laws as they are only imposed on one country.
He said: “If they don’t shape up, I would withdraw from the WTO.”
The extra duties on US goods are thought to be a response to Trump’s new steel and aluminium tariffs, which have hit countries like China, Canada and Turkey.
A White House spokesman said: “The Secretary of Commerce found and advised me of his opinion that aluminium articles are being imported into the United States in such quantities and under such circumstances as to threaten to impair the national security of the United States.
“In the light of this conclusion, the Secretary recommended action to adjust the imports of aluminium articles so that such imports will not threaten to impair the national security.”
The WTO sets the standards and rules that govern other international trade agreements and helps settle trade disputes.
Trump has expressed his dissatisfaction with the organisation before, especially regarding China’s steel dumping and theft of US intellectual property.
Trump told NBC’s Chuck Todd in 2016 the WTO is a “disaster” and has repeatedly told White House officials he wants to leave the organisation, according to a June report from Axios.
He has previously claimed the US “always loses” at the WTO, but this has been refuted by some experts.
Kimberly Ann Eliott, visiting scholar at George Washington University, said: “Washington wins nearly 90 percent of the cases when it challenges other countries’ illegal trade practices.
“According to the ‘2018 Economic Report of the President’ that is slightly higher than for other WTO members on average, and it is a far better record than the two-thirds of cases in which China prevails when it complaints to the WTO.”
Last month Trump backed reform of the WTO and said: “WTO has treated the US very badly, and I hope they change their ways.”
Congress voted in 1994 to join the WTO, which replaced an earlier pact called the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.
It is unclear whether Trump would be able to withdraw the US from the WTO without congressional approval.