Trump attacks WTO after it says US tariffs on China broke global trade rules

Trump attacks WTO after it says US tariffs on China broke global trade rules

  • President says he has to ‘do something’ about the body after it rules that duties on $200bn worth of Chinese goods breached regulations

The United States has described the World Trade Organization as “completely inadequate” after it criticised the Trump administration’s tariffs on China.

The WTO said on Tuesday that the US breached global trading rules by imposing levies on more than $200bn of Chinese goods in the opening salvo of president Donald Trump’s trade war with Beijing two years ago.

The US said the tariffs were justified because China was stealing intellectual property and forcing American companies to transfer technology for access to China’s markets.

But the WTO’s three-member panel said the duties broke trading rules because they applied only to China and were above maximum rates previously agreed to by the US government. Washington had not then adequately explained why its measures were a justified exception, the panel concluded.

The decision prompted Trump, who has already pulled the US out of the UN cultural organisation Unesco and the World Health Organization, to say in Washington that he had to “do something about the WTO because they’ve let China get away with murder”.