WTO future in doubt?
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented on Washington’s possible withdrawal from the World Trade Organization (WTO). According to him, it would make the organisation's further existence meaningless.
"Of course, the existence of this core economic organization would be challenged, once the world’s largest economy leaves it. This is obvious," TASS cited the spokesman as saying.
In addition, Peskov stressed that "this is the internal affair of the United States" and recalled that "Russia is a member of the WTO with all the consequences that come with it."
On August 13, when speaking to workers at a Shell chemical plant in Pennsylvania, U.S. President Donald Trump said that the United States "may leave the WTO" if "we have to."
He was confident that for many years other countries, including China, used the global trade body to their advantage against the United States. However, Trump noted that things have changed under his presidency.
Trump reiterated that "they (the WTO) have been screwing us (the US) for years and it's not going to happen again." He stressed that the WTO needed to change its policy.
In particular, the U.S. leader said, the economic organization gave preferences to China.
The director of the Institute of International Economics at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Ruslan Grinberg, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, agreed with Dmitry Peskov. "If this irresponsible action takes place, it will have disastrous consequences for the global economy and politics, because we will return to the 1930s without general rules of trade. In the case of the U.S. withdrawal from the WTO, we should expect a decline in multilateral trade and many chaotic conflicts over customs tariffs. It will be the death of multilateral relations with a return to bilateral relations, to situational alliances," he explained.
"The world economy will plunge into stagnation, since all ways for its growth will be closed. The geopolitical situation will instantly aggravate, nationalist moods of states will soar. Many countries will think that they are smarter than others and can allow themselves to deceive their economic partners. A very dark era will begin then. Therefore, of course, Trump’s statement is an unacceptable step. The United States is blackmailing the world and acting as a violator of all rules. And it’s hard for me to imagine that the U.S. will really leave the WTO," Ruslan Grinberg concluded.