Jonathan Swan of AXIOS was challenged by the White House about his reporting that the republican President Donald Trump has been threatening on numerous occasions that he thinks the US should withdraw from the WTO (World Trade Organization) which has been set up to arbitrate trade disputes between countries.
The US has benefited from the existence of this entity as its officials have ruled in favor of the US complaints, 85% of the time and most of these disputes have been against China. Every country who is a member of WTO has to abide by previously agreed upon trade agreements. The only exception to where a government could default, is when it can credibly show that its leaders are acting on the basis of their country’s “national security” interests.
The question is why would President Trump be pondering on this possibility? The answer has to do with the president’s imposition of tariffs on our neighboring countries and allies on the basis of US national security interests. Some of these leaders are threatening to file a complaint with the WTO, questioning President Trump’s assertions that he is acting on the basis of US national security interests. The WTO is not the US Supreme court and so, there is reasonable chance that the WTO officials would not rule in favor of the USA.
The trouble with the president’s plans is that he imposed tariffs on our friends while the US was a WTO member. Leaving it this point would only prove that the US is a bad actor in all of this mess.
Here is the rest of the story…
On June 29, 2018, Jonathan Swan of AXIOS penned the following report, “Scoop: Trump’s private threat to upend global trade”
“President Trump has repeatedly told top White House officials he wants to withdraw the United States from the World Trade Organization, a move that would throw global trade into wild disarray, people involved in the talks tell Axios.”
What we’re hearing: “He’s [threatened to withdraw] 100 times. It would totally [screw] us as a country,” said a source who’s discussed the subject with Trump. The source added that Trump has frequently told advisers, “We always get fucked by them [the WTO]. I don’t know why we’re in it. The WTO is designed by the rest of the world to screw the United States.”