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US builds pressure on global trade system

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The United States wants to increase its long-standing ceiling of import tariffs, which should lead to a revision of relations with other members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and increase pressure on the world trade system, writes Bloomberg.

US President Donald Trump and his advisers have long complained that other countries may impose higher tariffs on certain products.

As an example, officials mentioned European passenger car taxes and Indian motorcycle rates, which, in their opinion, proves that global trade rules are directed against America.

It is reported that US sales representative Robert Lighthizer is currently considering a plan to dump US tariff commitments into the WTO, threatening to increase tariff ceilings – or related rates – that have been agreed by previous presidential administrations over decades of negotiations.

A similar intention followed the signing of a partial US agreement with China last month. Prior to this, the Trump administration managed to paralyze the WTO dispute resolution system by blocking the appointment of judges to its appeals body.

New discussions, however, are part of a broader effort within the administration to find other ways to change the global trading system.

According to agency sources, the administration’s strategy is to start with a proposal to review US WTO tariffs with the hope that the other 163 WTO members will not collectively agree to new multilateral terms.

If the WTO negotiations fail, the Trump administration will then consider unilaterally promoting reciprocal tariffs for America’s trading partners, Bloomberg sources said.

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