Asserting that India and China have “already grown” and it was unfair of them to take advantage of the “developing countries” tag by the World Trade Organisation (WTO), US President Donald Trump said he would not let it happen anymore. He expressed hope that WTO will treat the US “fairly”.
On Tuesday, addressing a gathering at Pennsylvania, Trump said India and China— the two economic giants from Asia— are no longer developing nations and as such they cannot take the benefit from the WTO. “They (India and China) were taking advantage of us for years and years,” he said, pointing out that WTO’s ‘developing nation’ tag for India and China put the US to disadvantage.
“We’re not letting that happen anymore…Everybody is growing but us,” he added. His comments came days after he asked the WTO to define how it designates developing-country status. Trump’s move apparently aimed at singling out countries like China, Turkey and India, which are getting lenient treatment under the global trade rules.
Known for championing ‘America First’ policy, Trump has been a vocal critic of India for levying “tremendously high” duties on US products and has described the country as a “tariff king”. Meanwhile, the US is presently locked in a rough trade war with China after Trump slapped punitive tariffs on Chinese goods and Beijing retaliated.
In July, Trump had empowered the US Trade Representative (USTR) to start taking punitive actions if any advanced economies are inappropriately taking benefits of the WTO loopholes.
The Geneva-based WTO is an intergovernmental organisation that regulates international trade between nations.
Under the global trade rules, developing countries claim entitlement to longer timeframe for the imposition of safeguards, generous transition periods, softer tariff cuts, procedural advantages for WTO disputes and the ability to avail themselves of certain export subsidies.
(With PTI inputs)