Given that Trump has repeatedly criticized the World Trade Organization (WTO) in public, this is not necessarily a surprising report, but that doesn't make it less alarming.
Axios reports that Trump has continously told aides, advisers, and other outside sources that he wants to withdraw from the WTO because, in his own words, we "always get fucked."
“He’s [threatened to withdraw] 100 times. It would totally [screw] us as a country,” said a source who’s discussed the subject with Trump. The source added that Trump has frequently told advisers, "We always get fucked by them [the WTO]. I don’t know why we’re in it. The WTO is designed by the rest of the world to screw the United States." [...]
Some aides have tried to explain to Trump that in their view, the U.S. does well at the WTO, given the U.S. has an army of trade lawyers and created the system.
We do not, in fact, "always get fucked."
As some aides have allegedly told Trump, the United States wins over 85 percent of the complaints we file at the WTO against other nations. One possible reason for our high rate of success is the fact that the United States created the WTO. It was not "designed by the rest of the world" to screw us. We designed it.
Axios reports that Trump has been "unmoved" by the empirical facts presented to him by outsiders and his own staff.
Personally I'm skeptical of reports that his staff has vigorously pushed back against Trump's unhinged coke rants, but it doesn't really matter, does it? Trump is going to do what Trump is going to do and he could announce a withdrawal from the WTO on a whim at any moment even if his staff have not even drafted plans to do so.
I believe if he does withdraw from the WTO, he'll do so after the WTO rules that his tariffs are illegal. He'll take that as a personal slight even if his tariffs violate rules that we created long ago before he even thought about running for office.