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Trump threatens to pull out of WTO if it doesn't 'shape up'

The US withdrawing from the World Trade Organization could have huge implications for the global economy.

Donald Trump pictured at a rally in Evansville, Indiana yesterday.
Donald Trump pictured at a rally in Evansville, Indiana yesterday.
Image: Evan Vucci/AP/Press Association Images

US PRESIDENT DONALD Trump has said he is considering pulling out of the World Trade Organization (WTO). 

Trump said the agreement establishing the body was “the single worst trade deal ever made”.

“If they don’t shape up, I would withdraw from the WTO,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg News at the White House. 

The US withdrawing from the WTO could have huge implications for the global economy.

At a time when Trump’s protectionist policies have sparked a wave of trade wars, the institution best placed to help settle trade differences is facing a deepening crisis.

This week Washington blocked the reappointment of a WTO judge, increasing the risk it could soon find itself unable to fulfil its key role in arbitrating disputes.

EU tariffs 

In the same interview, Trump said a European Union proposal scrapping tariffs on automobiles, a move which threatens to amplify a simmering trans-Atlantic trade dispute, was “not good enough”. 

Just hours earlier, the EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem had said the bloc was “willing to bring down … our car tariffs to zero” provided that the US did the same.

“Their consumer habits are to buy their cars, not to buy our cars,” he said. 

Contains reporting from © AFP 2018 

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Órla Ryan

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