President Donald Trump said the World Trade Organisation treats the U.S. unfairly, even though the American government wins most of the cases it initiates with the body. "I'm not talking about pulling out", he told reporters on Air Force One, when asked about reports he was planning an exit from the global trading body.
"It would be the equivalent of walking away from the WTO and our commitments there without us actually notifying anyone of our withdrawal", a source familiar with the bill was quoted by Axios as saying.
China, Canada, Switzerland, Norway, Turkey, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Venezuela, Singapore, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico, Qatar, Thailand and India all echoed the same concerns and said they doubted the USA tariffs were in line with WTO rules.
But many diplomats say quitting the WTO would not be in the United States interest, and the WTO has said it has never had any indication of Mr Trump intending to leave.
"He's been clear that he has concerns, that there are a number of aspects that he doesn't believe are fair. China and other countries have used the WTO to their own advantage, and we're focused on fixing the system, and that would include that", Sanders said.
If the goal was to get lower tariffs for US exports, Trump could do that by negotiating trade agreements, he said.
Should the United States walk away from the WTO, it would undermine the entire system of trade rules agreed upon by the worldwide community. The largest U.S. nail manufacturer, Mid-Continent Nail, has laid off 60 workers and said it might be out of business by the end of the summer.Warnings of a slowdown come as administration officials, including the president, continue to offer defiance as its single public policy position.
"He wrote on Twitter: "'The world is laughing at us, ' says Trump, before proposing the FART Act (Fair and Reciprocal Tariff Act)".
A White House spokesperson did not return CNN's requests for comment on the bill.
He is also focused on lowering the U.S. trade deficit through what he calls "reciprocal" trade - that is, imposing the same tariffs on United States imports from specific countries as they impose on US-made goods.
Trump has reportedly been discussing the withdrawal of the US from the WTO altogether.
The EU last Friday submitted comments warning the US Commerce Department that US import tariffs on cars and auto parts were unjustifiable and would harm America's automotive industry and probably lead to counter-measures by its trading partners on US exports.
Several countries have already imposed retaliatory tariffs against several categories of American goods, lodging relevant complaints with the WTO's court. The EU calculated that a 25 percent tariff would have an initial $13 billion-$14 billion negative impact on US gross domestic product with no improvement to the country's current account balance.
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