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Claiming Unfair Treatment, Trump Threatens To Pull United States From WTO


U.S. President Donald Trump sits behind his desk as he announces a bilateral trade agreement with Mexico on August 27.

U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to pull the United States out of the World Trade Organization, calling the international body’s agreements "the single worst trade deal ever made."

Speaking in an August 30 interview with Bloomberg News, Trump accused the WTO of treating the United States poorly.

In Moscow, Russia's Economy Ministry said on August 31 that the United States would suffer economically from "not playing by the rules" in trade disputes that the WTO deals with between its 164 member countries.

Trump's threat to withdraw from the WTO follows similar comments he made in July when he called on officials at the Geneva-based body to "change their ways."

"If they don't shape up, I would withdraw from the WTO," Trump said in the August 30 interview from the White House.

Trump claimed that the United States had "rarely" won a lawsuit at the WTO until last year.

"You know why? Because they know if we don't, I'm out of there," Trump said.

The WTO deals with trade disputes between its 164 member countries.

According to the Cato Institute, a Washington policy group that pushes for the elimination of trade barriers, the United States has won more than 90 percent of the cases it has initiated at the WTO since the organization was founded in 1995.

It says the United States also has brought more complaints to the WTO than any other of the trade body's other members.

On the other hand, Washington has also lost nearly 90 percent of the cases brought against it at the WTO by other members.