US will respect WTO when it suits us: White House

The United States would respect decisions by the World Trade Organization (WTO) when they are in its favor and reject the rest, the White House said on Wednesday. Explaining President Donald Trump’s approach toward the WTO, National Economic Council (NEC) Director Larry Kudlow told reporters: “The President has said this many times: We are bound by the national interests here more than anything else. All right? We’re always interested in the World Trade Organization.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow gives a press briefing about upcoming G7 in the White House in Washington, on June 6, 2018. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Ambassador Lighthizer, (US Trade Representative) in fact, has filed complaints in the WTO with respect to Chinese practices and the practices of other nations. So we’re still working through the WTO. But international multilateral organizations are not going to determine American policy. I think the President has made that very clear.”

Kudlow was briefing reporters ahead of the G7 summit in Canada. The President’s adviser was asked about many countries taking their trade disputes with the US to the WTO and whether the administration would “respect the decisions that come out of the WTO on this.”

‘Strongest trade reformer of past 20 years’

Kudlow said Trump was a supporter of free trade and accused other countries of being protectionist. He is “probably the strongest trade reformer of the past 20 years not only protect American interests, but to open up avenues of growth for our business and our workers, and frankly, to help open up world growth,” said the official. “The world trading system is a mess. It is broken down. Insofar as fairness and reciprocity and, ultimately, free trade, I think this is contributing to our economic growth and our confidence,” he said.

The adviser to Trump said no trade deal has been reached between the US and China and said the former was seeking structural changes in China to ensure a level- playing field. “I want to say, other Presidents, in both parties, have paid lip service to this issue of the lack of reciprocity and China’s particularly bad behavior, but nothing ever comes of it. This President has the backbone to take the fight, and he will continue to make the fight because he believes it is in the best interest of the United States and also the rest of the world,” he said, adding that the deregulation and tax cuts have charged up the American economy under Trump.

‘War against business is over’

“The war against business is over. The war against success is over. The war against energy is over. We have now freed up the animal spirits; you can see that by the confidence indexes. We’re rolling. The U.S. economy is rolling,” he said.


Zachary Ballif 

The Kootneeti Team - White House Watch

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