The newly elected President of the United States, Donald Trump, is considering changing the status of the United States in the World Trade Organization. The WTO, which was established in 1995, is an organization that sets forth to establish trade agreements among member countries, settle legal disputes using agreed upon methods and treaties and educates international business as to the guidelines and laws of international trade.

Renegotiaton of terms

President Trump’s plan to tax companies that go oversees could potentially be in violation of the US’s agreement with the WTO.

Once seen as forum to mitigate trade disputes and tariffs, some critics, like President Donald Trump, believe that the WTO stifles the ability for the United States, to negotiate trade and tariffs in a beneficial manner. The Trump administration states that renegotiating deals with the WTO is possible. When told that high tariffs on US companies that outsource to other countries would not likely be accepted by the WTO, the President suggested that maybe the US would have to pull out of the trade organization.

One issue President Trump mentioned during his campaign has been the United States’ large trade deficit being with China. Trump has accused China of subsidizing goods illegally. It is possible that Trump would bring these issues up in the WTO courts but trust in the trade group’s court is not high among the Trump administration.

If the issue was not resolved via the WTO courts, it is likely that Trump would consider leaving the WTO.

An issue of sovereignty

The slogan of Donald Trump’s campaign was to make America great again. After the creation of the United Nations, which the US was integral in developing post WWII, many other international treaty organizations have been created that can be seen as chipping away at the sovereignty granted in the US Constitution.

An ongoing agreement could be seen as having the potential to limit the United State’s ability to economically compete in the global community on its own terms. Withdrawing from the World Trade Organization would fit President Donald Trump’s plan on creating a more independent America and increasing the negotiating ability of the country in an attempt to stimulate economic growth.

President Trump seems to be deciding to put the laws of the United States above the regulations of the international community. In a speech to congress, the president said that he would not let American workers be taken advantage of. He was referencing what his administration sees as lopsided trade agreements with organizations like NATO and the WTO and illegal trading practices by member countries.