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Mnuchin says Axios report on Trump wanting to exit WTO is wrong

Mnuchin says Axios report on Trump wanting to exit WTO is wrong

Asked about reports that he is considering withdrawing from the WTO, Trump said, "I'm not talking about pulling out".

According to a report on Friday, instead of making efforts to address perceived problems with the worldwide trade regime, the president has been pushing privately for the U.S. to throw in the towel.

Trump had threatened to withdraw "100 times" and reported that the President had described the organization as "designed by the rest of the world to screw the United States", reported Axios on Friday, citing an anonymous source. The organization grew out of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and was officially founded in 1995.

The 164-member WTO is the only global organization that deals with the rules of trade between countries and states its key objective as opening trade "for the benefit of all".

Trump's distaste for the WTO and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is in-keeping with a foreign policy that firmly rejects multilateral organisations, with previous targets for the President's ire including NAFTA, which he has threatened to leave, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which he abandoned, and the European Union, which he frequently criticises.

More news: Russell Westbrook shares clip celebrating Paul George’s decision

Mr. Trump has branded the WTO a "disaster" and flouted worldwide trade norms by hitting key allies with stinging tariffs, and imposing crippling fees on Chinese goods in the name of USA national security. Specifically, invoking national security as a basis for unilateral tariffs, as Trump did with tariffs on steel and aluminum, has always been identified as a danger to the sustainability of the WTO system.

"While you never know with this president, I consider it unlikely that Trump will try to pull the USA out of the WTO", Alden said. He further charged, "In an effort to give cover to this blatant disregard for WTO rules, they claim to be acting in reliance on a narrow exception that applies only in response to a safeguard measure". "The WTO has not been a constraint on this administration".

"We think he's nuts, but not that nuts", one trade attorney tells Swan. "But there is plenty of uncertainty as it is already". We have lost many, many cases over the years... They tariffs have also led to retaliation by USA allies, including Canada and the European Union. "It would totally [screw] us as a country", said an advisor close to Trump. "That's what we're focused on - breaking down barriers". Earlier Friday, White House officials sought to ease concerns over the report, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin calling it an "exaggeration". He called the Axios report "fake news".

"They have to treat us fairly", Trump said Friday about the WTO.

"Aka - for the Twitter users going berserk - Mnuchin LIED", Swan tweeted.


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