Trump’s Trade War Reaches the WTO

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Trump's budding trade war has reached the World Trade Organization (WTO) where China and other countries have filed complaints over Trump's unilateral decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum and many other things.

Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Dennis Shea addressed the complaints for the first time on Friday and I would describe his remarks as pure gaslighting.

Although everything was fine or at least normal before Trump took office, Shea says China is the real threat to global trade.

China’s “trade-distorting policies” represent a “threat to the international trading system,” Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Dennis Shea said in Geneva on Friday during his first public comments on the matter. China’s technology transfer policies harm every WTO member and industry that “relies on technology for maintaining competitiveness in world markets.”

Wait for it...

If the WTO is seen as a shield protecting those members that choose to adopt policies that can be shown to undermine the fairness and balance of the international trading system then the WTO and the international trading system will lose all credibility and support among our citizens,” Shea said.

The Trump regime is simultaneously arguing that China is responsible for disrupting global trade while also vaguely threatening to withdraw from the World Trade Organization and disrupt global trade.

The Trump regime is doing this because they know they're going to lose but, don't be fooled, the WTO isn't rigged against us. The United States has won 91 percent of the complaints we've filed against other nations at the WTO since 1995.

The Trump regime didn't even file complaints about China's trade practices or those of other nations at the WTO. Trump made the decision that he wanted to start a trade war and the White House worked backward from that to find an excuse for it.

We can only guess what Trump will do when the WTO rules against him, but I expect the worst.

  • muselet

    Donald Trump has always employed threats and bullying to get his way, so he thinks those tactics will always work.

    Unfortunately for him, China and the WTO are bigger and badder than he is.

    No matter what the outcome of this, the state of world trade will be made far more fragile by the actions of the Trump administration.


  • ninjaf

    Why shouldn’t they try it? The strategy has worked for them in the past — just look at how paranoid journalists are of being called “the liberal media.” It has take decades but now they bend over backwards to “prove” that they aren’t, giving deference to Republicans when they should be calling them on the carpet for their BS.