President Donald Trump’s latest proposal in the world of trade is a suggestion that the United States could withdraw from the World Trade Organization. In an interview with Bloomberg News on Friday Trump said that the WTO rarely rules in favor of the U.S.
The WTO, which is based in Geneva and was founded as an arbitrator of international trade in 1994, also publishes its own data on rulings. It says that the U.S. has won 91 percent of the cases it brought to the organization. In the case of other countries bringing cases against the U.S., the WTO ruled against the U.S. on at least one point of contention 86 percent of the time. Bloomberg notes that in general, companies that bring complaints forward to the WTO themselves tend to win their cases, as opposed to defendants winning them.
Trump has criticized the organization before as part of his general brinkmanship when it comes to global trade. He told Fox News that the WTO “benefit[s] everybody but us.”
Meanwhile, Washington continues to use the WTO to file cases, while at the same time blocking the appointment of new WTO judges.
“In the last year, we’re starting to win a lot,” Trump told Bloomberg News. “You know why? Because they know if we don’t, I’m out of there.”
Trump issued a similar ultimatum regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and withdrew from it in January 2017.