White House official 'not aware' of Trump plans to pull out of WTO

A top White House official said Friday that he is not aware of plans to pull the U.S. out of the World Trade Organization (WTO), despite President TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand urges opposition to Kavanaugh: Fight for abortion rights 'is now or never' Trump claims tariffs on foreign nations will rescue US steel industry: report Bannon announces pro-Trump movie, operation team ahead of midterms: report MORE’s mounting frustration with the international body. 
 
“I’m not familiar with any plans right now, at this point,” White House legislative affairs director Marc Short told reporters when asked if Trump is considering withdrawing from the WTO. 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
The comments came in response to an Axios report saying Trump has privately told advisers he wants to pull out of the organization, a move that could upend global trade and roil international markets. 
 
Short said “it’s fair to say” Trump has grown frustrated with the WTO, which regulates global trade agreements.
 
“I think that the president’s expressed frustrations with international organizations from a sovereignty perspective, but I think that the president also believes that there’s extensive tariffs assessed on American products overseas that’s not a reciprocal tariff,” Short said. 
 
Trump has previously called the organization “unfair to the U.S.” and a “disaster for this country.” 
 
Some of Trump’s advisers have sought to persuade him to back off his threats, pointing out the U.S. has won more than 85 percent of the WTO cases it has brought. But that argument has fallen on deaf ears, according to Axios.
 
Trump has not shied away from taking trade actions that have angered allies and roiled markets.
 
He imposed steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports earlier this year on allies such as Canada, Japan and the European Union. 
 
That has triggered a round of retaliatory tariffs against the U.S., and the EU and Canada have begun dispute proceedings at the WTO over the tariffs.