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Too Early to Talk U.S. Withdrawal From WTO

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Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says it is “too early” to talk about the possibility of the United States leaving the World Trade Organization. A Bloomberg report says the discussion comes about as a result of the Trump Administration continuing to talk about ways to improve the organization. During an interview with CNBC, Ross said, “The WTO knows there are some reforms needed. I think there is a need to update and synchronize its activities, however, I think it’s a little premature to talk about simple leaving it.” The website AXIOS had reported Sunday that officials had drafted a bill that would permit the president to ignore WTO rules and let him adjust tariff rates at will for different countries. Trump said on Friday that he is not planning on exiting the WTO after reports had him telling senior aides that he wants to leave the organization. America has already thrown the WTO into turmoil by blocking the appointment of legal experts to the appeals body, which is the world’s top court for settling trade disputes.

The administration has long railed against WTO, saying it interferes with sovereign trade matters and complaining that China has not opened up its economy as it promised to do when joining the WTO back in 2001.

Source: NAFB News Service