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As Trump Rails, U.S. Allies Take Lead in Changing Trade Rules

Posted October 22, 2018

Under Economic Issues, International Trade Issues

(Jamey Keaten – Associated Press)

U.S. President Donald Trump wants to rip up the rulebook for global trade. China is by many accounts abusing it.

As a battle rages between the world’s top economic power and the fast-growing Asian giant striving to take its place, Canada and the European Union are quietly working to update the laws of international commerce, which have not been changed since the internet boom.

The question is how to fix the World Trade Organization, which oversees trade rules and settles disputes as part of a global order the U.S. helped create after World War II to foster peace and get authoritarian countries to open up.

As it stands, the WTO is on track to become powerless by next year if the Trump administration continues to withhold support over its complaints that China breaks the rules.

The fallout could be big: Disputes like an ongoing standoff between plane makers Boeing and Airbus would go unresolved, gumming up the global trading system. Governments could feel empowered to change their trade policies on a whim, creating uncertainty for companies as they try to plan investments and business deals around the world. Click here to read more.