Published: Mon, September 03, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Russia's economy ministry: United States companies not to allow Trump to exit WTO

Russia's economy ministry: United States companies not to allow Trump to exit WTO

The head of the World Trade Organization has responded to President Donald Trump's threat to leave the institution by warning such a move would cause chaos for US companies operating around the world.

"If they (the WTO - Interfax) will not change for the better, I get out of the WTO", - he said in an interview with Bloomberg.

His trade envoy Robert Lighthizer has called the move to allow China into the WTO "a mistake" and accused the trade body's dispute settlement system of interfering with United States sovereignty.

The US president issued the threat against the worldwide trade body during an interview with Bloomberg news.

Trump has previously called the WTO a "disaster" and a "catastrophe". All these countries have imposed tariffs on American goods in response to duties imposed by the USA on their exports to the country. Since been inaugurated as President, Trump has been pushing for reforms within the WTO, which according to the President unfairly labels countries like China as a developing nation.

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"We are acting within the framework of the WTO agreement on special protective measures, which allows countries to compensate for damages incurred as a result of "special protective measures" taken by another country (in this case, the United States)", the ministry said.

Since World War II, successive U.S. presidents have led efforts to establish and strengthen global trading rules, arguing that they would bring stability to the world economy.

Worse, protectionist measures "are spreading very, very quickly", he said, with the USA expected to move as soon as next week to impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion in imports from China. During his campaign, he had said that the "single-worst decision ever made by the US" was to join the WTO in 1994. He said it was "not totally wrong".

He also warned that he could pull the United States out of the World Trade Organisation.

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Countries that bring complaints to the WTO tend to prevail and defendants in trade disputes lose, Bloomberg News said.

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But in an interview with Bloomberg News on Thursday, Trump said the proposal was "not good enough".

Trump has credited his electoral success to his hard line on trade, which he has argued hurts U.S. workers and favors foreign competitors.

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