"The statements attribute to Donald Trump, the American President, about the intentions to leave the WTO is "fake news", Mnuchin said in the interview for Fox Business TV channel on Friday on June 29, as DW.com reports. It would totally [screw] us as a country", Axios quoted one source who's discussed the subject with Trump as saying.
A source familiar with Trump's thinking told Reuters he has said privately that the USA should get out of the WTO but that it was not a serious proposal.
"While you never know with this president, I consider it unlikely that Trump will try to pull the U.S. out of the WTO", Alden said.
It is understood that aides have attempted to explain to the President that the United States has benefited from proceedings at the WTO and actually created the system in place itself, as opposed to "the rest of the world".
The characterization bears an eerie resemblance to the discussions on tariffs, an issue on which White House staff stymied Trump's efforts for a long time before he lost his patience, but it would be harder for Trump to make a similar decision with the WTO. "But we have not been treated fairly on trade", he said.
He added that Trump is concerned about the situation in the WTO as the U.S.is focused on "free trade" and "lifting up the barriers", while China and other states are using the WTO for its own purposes.
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In a statement, Lighthizer accused China, the European Union, and other countries of going after the US with "groundless legal theory" under the WTO to justify immediate tariffs on the U.S.
Should Trump announce a withdrawal at some point in the future, it would cast doubts over trillions of dollars of global trade.
Navarro also pushed back against criticism of Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from USA companies including GM and motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson Inc., calling it "smoke and mirrors". They tariffs have also led to retaliation by USA allies, including Canada and the European Union. He has concerns about the WTO.
After announcing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports in early March, the USA and China have been trading retaliatory punches. "It's much too costly for the United States", said Trump. "He thinks there's aspects of it that aren't fair".
Trump has imposed tariffs on imports of aluminum and steel earlier this year that has triggered new trade suits that will be considered by WTO panels.