Shape up or US quits WTO: Trump

 Washington : President Donald Trump has threatened to withdraw the US from the World Trade Organisation if the body fails to change the way it treats America. “If they don’t shape up, I would withdraw from the WTO,” the BBC quoted Trump as saying in an interview with Bloomberg News on Friday.

The WTO was established to provide rules for global trade and resolve disputes between countries. However, Trump, who has been pushing protectionist policies, says the US is treated unfairly by the body, the BBC reported.

His warning about a possible US pull-out from the organisation highlights the conflict between the president’s trade policies and the open trade system that the WTO oversees.

Washington has also blocked the election of new judges to the WTO’s dispute settlement system, to potentially paralyse its ability to issue judgments. Trump has been sounding off about unfair trade since even before he became president. In 2017, Trump told Fox News: “The WTO was set up to benefit everybody but USA… We lose the lawsuits, almost all of the lawsuits in the WTO.”

The US has been embroiled in a tit-for-tat trade battle on several fronts in recent months. The one creating the most interest is the one with China, as the world’s two largest economies wrangle for global influence. Trump has introduced tariffs on a number of goods imported into the US. A third round of tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods could come as soon as a public-comment period concludes next week, the BBC said.

Trump said it was “not totally wrong”, it said. China’s commerce ministry has said it “clearly suspects” the US of violating WTO rules.

US Prez seeks to fire TV honchos

Washington: Trump demanded the firing of the presidents of two key US television networks — CNN and NBC — whom he accused of being biased against him. Specifically, Trump took to Twitter to call for CNN President Jeff Zucker, who has been the target of the president’s criticism on multiple occasions, and NBC chief Andy lack to be fired, Efe reported.

“The hatred and extreme bias of me by @CNN has clouded their thinking and made them unable to function. But actually, as I have always said, this has been going on for a long time. Little Jeff Z has done a terrible job, his ratings suck, & AT&T should fire him to save credibility!” tweeted Trump.

He also unloaded on NBC, another of the most popular networks in the US. “What’s going on at @CNN is happen­ing, to different degrees, at other networks – with @NBCNews being the worst. The good news is Andy Lack(y) is about to be fired(?) for incompetence, and much worse,” Trump posted.

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