Stephen J. Silvia , is professor of international relations at the American University School of International Service . President Donald Trump has made the World Trade Organization a frequent target. Recently, he's reportedly considering suspending U.S. compliance with the global body - a claim the White House quickly denied. What exactly is the WTO, and would it matter if the U.S. left it? As an international trade scholar, I'd like to start with the history. How the WTO came about Creation of the Geneva-based WTO in 1995 was the culmination of a 50-year effort spearheaded by successive U.S. governments to establish and secure a rules-based multilateral trade regime. Before World War II, European powers imposed harsh trade restrictions against countries outside their empires, which hurt U.S. exporters substantially. This also contributed to Japan going to war to carve out an "East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere" and Nazi Germany attacking eastward to obtain "living space" - … [Read more...] about Trump: WTO treats the U.S. “very badly.” So what is the WTO?
U s export restrictions
The White House and senior Chinese officials are discussing a targeted economic deal that would relax severe penalties on ZTE, a major Chinese telecom company, in exchange for unspecified demands from President Donald Trump, two people briefed on the discussions said Sunday. The talks are fluid, and Trump has shown a willingness to veer between extremes in how he interacts with Beijing. But Trump said Sunday on Twitter that he wanted federal regulators to take the unusual step of relaxing penalties on ZTE, even though the Chinese company has been accused of illicitly shipping goods to North Korea and Iran. What Trump didn't reveal publicly is how much the company has become a bargaining chip as the White House tries to extract trade-related concessions from China while pushing for cooperation on sanctions against Iran and North Korea, the people said. Trump pledged on Sunday to help Chinese telecom giant ZTE return to business, days after the company said it would "cease major … [Read more...] about Sanctions against China telecom giant ZTE become a bargaining chip in potential U.S.-China trade deal
The Trump administration has drawn a hard line in trade talks with China, demanding a $200 billion cut in the Chinese trade surplus with the United States, sharply lower tariffs and advanced technology subsidies, people familiar with the talks said on Friday, Reuters reports. The lengthy list of demands was presented to Beijing before the start of talks Thursday and Friday between top-level Trump administration officials and their Chinese counterparts to try to avert a damaging trade war between the world’s two largest economies. A White House statement did not mention specific demands, but said the U.S. delegation “held frank discussions with Chinese officials on rebalancing the United States–China bilateral economic relationship, improving China’s protection of intellectual property, and identifying policies that unfairly enforce technology transfers.” The statement gave no indication that U.S. President Donald Trump would back off on his threat to … [Read more...] about Trump team demands China slash U.S. trade surplus, cut tariffs
The U.S. government said Chinese telecommunications-gear maker ZTE Corp. violated the terms of a sanctions settlement and imposed a seven-year ban on purchases of crucial American technology needed to keep it competitive.The Commerce Department determined ZTE, which was previously fined for shipping telecommunication equipment to Iran and North Korea, subsequently paid full bonuses to employees who engaged in the illegal conduct, failed to issue letters of reprimand and lied about the practices to U.S. authorities, the department said.“Instead of reprimanding ZTE staff and senior management, ZTE rewarded them,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in the statement. “This egregious behavior cannot be ignored.”The ZTE rebuke adds to U.S.-China tensions over trade between the world’s two biggest economies. President Donald Trump threatened tariffs on $150 billion in Chinese imports for alleged violations of intellectual property rights, while Beijing vowed to … [Read more...] about U.S. Cuts Off China’s ZTE From American Tech for Seven Years
Russia outlined a broad range of potential retaliatory moves against new U.S. sanctions, including curbs on imports of American farm products and cooperation in nuclear energy and space launches, as well as a possible ban on titanium sales to Boeing Co.The proposals, which also include a potential bar on U.S. consulting and accounting firms from working with state-owned companies and limits on imports of alcohol, will be discussed next week in the lower house of parliament, the State Duma. They also envision restrictions on visas for U.S. specialists working in Russia. Presidential orders would be required to impose specific measures.New U.S. sanctions targeting Russian businessmen, companies and officials imposed a week ago sent Russian markets into a tailspin and brought about promises of retaliation from the Kremlin. Given that Russia has little economic leverage over the U.S., officials said it could use an asymmetrical response as it has in the past to counter anti-Russian … [Read more...] about Russia Takes Aim at Titanium, U.S. Workers in Sanctions Plan