US President Donald Trump teed up a fight with the World Trade Organization today, claiming the 164-country body was biased against the United States. A day after China asked the WTO to referee a rapidly escalating trade fight with Washington, Trump questioned the organizations impartiality.
“China, which is a great economic power, is considered a Developing Nation within the World Trade Organization,” he tweeted.
“They therefore get tremendous perks and advantages, especially over the U.S. Does anybody think this is fair. We were badly represented. The WTO is unfair to U.S.” Trump has repeatedly expressed skepticism about multilateral bodies — from the WTO to the United Nations to NATO — believing they constrain US power.
“Trump has made clear more than once what he thinks of multilateral institutions like the WTO,” said Marie Kasperek of the Atlantic Council.
Trump’s critics point out that Washington largely dictated terms inside those organizations, which have promoted a move toward more democratic market economies.