Donald Trump on WTO: US Could Leave Over Offshore Production
Donald Trump criticized the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Sunday for standing in the way of his plans to levy penalties on companies that move production offshore, saying the U.S. could leave the organization if he becomes president.
In an interview that aired on NBC's "Meet the Press" with host Chuck Todd. Trump, whose criticism of American companies taking jobs overseas has been a major talking point in his campaign, said he wants to levy a tax against those businesses.Trump made his threat to pull out of the WTO during
"It could be 25 percent. It could be 35 percent. It could be 15 percent," Trump said of the tax against the companies on the show. "I haven't determined. And it could be different for different companies. We have been working on trying to stop this government, because we don't know what we're doing."
Trump remarked that the government doesn't know what it's doing, that it's failed: "They've tried lower interest loans, they've tried zero interest loans ..."
When Todd pointed out that Trump's levy "may not get through the World Trade Organization," Trump balked.
"It doesn't matter," Trump said on "Meet the Press." "Then we're going to renegotiate or we're going to pull out. These trade deals are a disaster, Chuck. The World Trade Organization is a disaster."
On Friday, Roberto Azevêdo, the director-general of the WTO, criticized what he called Trump's "anti-trade rhetoric" during an interview on CNBC.
"(World trade) is still sluggish and the problem is this new anti-trade rhetoric, anti-globalization rhetoric," Azevêdo told CNBC. "It doesn't help because it may spell what is to come in terms of policies, so that is definitely bad news."
The Wall Street Journal said such a move could void deals the U.S. has for lower tariffs for its goods with countries globally, leading to increased prices of exported American products. The Journal added that such a departure would make it more difficult for the U.S. to challenge alleged rule-breaking WTO members like China and getting compensation.
The Journal noted Hillary Clinton has said Trump's actions on international trade could cause a trade war.
Trump's comments on the WTO comes on the heels of him solidifying his stance on NATO last week, saying that the U.S. would consider a member's contribution to the alliance before deciding whether to come to its aid if attacked, reported The New York Times.
The Times wrote that while Trump's suggestion would be a first for the U.S. in regard to aiding NATO allies, it was consistent with his previous threat to withdraw American forces from Europe and Asia if those countries fail to pay more for American protection.