Trump threatens to withdraw from World Trade Organization

President Donald Trump

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
President Donald Trump

If the World Trade Organization doesn’t “shape up,” President Donald Trump told Bloomberg he would pull the United States out.

In a Thursday interview with Bloomberg, Trump again criticized the international trading group’s treatment of the United States.

He told Bloomberg, “If they don’t shape up, I would withdraw from the WTO.”

The president’s comments follow previous reports that Trump had told White House aides that he wanted to withdraw from the WTO.

But top Trump administration officials haven’t been as eager to pull out of the global trade regulator. In July, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC that talk to withdraw from the WTO was “a little premature.”

“We’ve made no secret of our view that there are some reforms needed at the WTO,” Ross said on “Squawk Box.”

He explained that the WTO could better “update [or] synchronize its activities.”

Trump’s remarks come amid a slew of trade scuffles, which have pressured trade-sensitive stocks.

On Thursday, U.S. stocks snapped a four-day winning streak, after Bloomberg reported that Trump supports moving ahead with proposed tariffs on an additional $200 billion in Chinese goods.

Despite Trump’s remarks, the U.S. has sought WTO assistance in dealing with retaliatory tariffs imposed by China, the European Union, Canada, Mexico and Turkey. In July, the U.S. filed five dispute actions with the WTO alleging that the retaliatory tariffs against the U.S. were illegal under the trade organization’s rules.

See Bloomberg for more on Trump’s comments about the World Trade Organization.

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