President Donald Trump has threatened to withdraw the US from the World Trade Organisation (WTO), claiming it treats the country unfairly.
“If they don’t shape up, I would withdraw from the WTO,” Mr Trump said in an interview with Bloomberg News.
The WTO was established to provide rules for global trade and resolve disputes between countries.
Mr Trump said the body too often rules against the US, although he concedes it has won some recent judgments.
He claimed on Fox News earlier this year that the WTO was set up “to benefit everybody but us”, adding: “We lose the lawsuits, almost all of the lawsuits in the WTO.”
However, some analysis shows the US wins about 90% when it is the complainant and loses about the same percentage when it is complained against.
Mr Trump’s warning about a possible US pull-out from the organisation highlights the conflict between the president’s protectionist trade policies and the open trade system that the WTO oversees.
Washington has also recently been blocking the election of new judges to the WTO’s dispute settlement system, which could potentially paralyse its ability to issue judgments.(BBC)
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has also accused the WTO of interfering with US sovereignty.