President Donald Trump has repeatedly told top White House officials he wants the United States to withdraw from the World Trade Organization, a move that would be potentially calamitous for global commerce, the news website Axios reported on Friday, citing people involved in the discussions.
One person who has discussed the subject with Trump, according to Axios, said the president frequently told advisers: “I don’t know why we’re in it. The WTO is designed by the rest of the world to screw the United States.”
The 164-member WTO is the only international organization that deals with the rules of trade between countries and states its key purpose as opening trade “for the benefit of all.”
A U.S. withdrawal from it would require an act of the U.S. Congress, and Trump was unlikely to persuade lawmakers to carry out his wish, the Axios report said.