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Trump threatens to pull US out of WTO

U.S. President Donald Trump threatened Thursday to withdraw his country from the World Trade Organization (WTO) unless it starts treating America better.

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

The president claims the organization has been treating the U.S. “very badly” even though the U.S. has won 87 percent of the cases it brings to the WTO against other countries, according to a Bloomberg analysis.

But Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from other countries, combined with additional tariffs on Chinese goods, has put the U.S. in a difficult position.

Turkey’s Trade Ministry announced on Aug. 20 that it had launched a legal process against Washington’s decision to impose tariffs on imports of Turkish steel and aluminum.

India, China, Switzerland, Norway, Canada, Russia, Mexico and the European Union have also started legal processes against the U.S. at the WTO, according to the ministry.

Trump’s tirade against the WTO is not the first instance of criticism by the U.S. against the organization.

In January, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said that allowing China into the WTO in 2001 was a mistake.

But experts argue that bringing China into the WTO and the global trade system was a successful way to avoid potential trade wars.

While the U.S. has led the way in shaping the global economy and free market trade system in the post-World War II era, its withdrawal from the WTO would strike a major blow to itself, the global economy and financial markets, experts warn.

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