US President Donald Trump has threatened to pull his country out of the World Trade Organization (WTO) over what he claims are years of mistreatment at the hands of the Geneva-based organization.
"We will leave if we have to," Trump told workers at a chemical plant in Pennsylvania on Tuesday. "We know that they have been screwing us for years and it's not going to happen again.”
Washington claims that some of the world's richest countries, like China, style themselves as "developing countries" and “enjoy the benefits that come with that status and seek weaker commitments than those made by other WTO members.”
Among the benefits that Trump has outlined concerning the developing economy status at the WTO are procedural advantages in disputes, softer tariff cuts, the ability to maintain export subsidies and weaker commitments in negotiations.
The US president went on to say on Tuesday that Washington does not need the WTO if the organization fails to address such regulatory loopholes that favor certain nations.
"They view certain countries like China, India, many countries - they've viewed them as growing, they are growing nations. [...] Well, they have grown, and they had tremendous advantages. We are not letting that happen anymore", he said.
This is not the first time Trump has attacked the global trading body.
Claiming that the US is disadvantaged as a WTO member, the American head of state has also repeatedly called the organization a "catastrophe" and a "disaster" for the US.
Last year, he threatened to withdraw the US from WTO, accusing it of treating his country unfairly.
He also said Washington did not have to abide by the Organization’s rulings.
Trump’s latest remarks come against the backdrop of his multiple trade conflicts with both allies and rivals, including China, Mexico, and Canada.
Trump initiated what is effectively a trade war with China last year, when he first imposed unusually heavy tariffs on imports from the country. Since then, the two sides have exchanged tariffs on more than $360 billion in two-way trade.
Since last March, Trump has also imposed 10 percent tariffs on aluminum imports and 25 percent tariffs on steel imports, which mainly affected the EU, Canada, and Mexico.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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