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Trump Denies Immediate Plan to Withdraw from WTO
President Donald Trump is denying any immediate plan to withdraw the United States from the World Trade Organization (WTO).
“We have been treated very badly by the WTO,” Trump said to reporters on Air Force One during a short Friday afternoon flight from Maryland to New Jersey.
But asked if he intends to pull the United States from the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations, Trump replied, “Not at this point, but they have to treat us fairly.”
The remarks come as Trump appears increasingly intent on confrontation, rather than cooperation, with the European Union, the Group of Seven (G-7) nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the WTO. He has repeatedly suggested the United States would be better off pursuing trade and strategic deals with nations one-to-one.
Trump, in less than two weeks, heads to Europe for the annual NATO summit before separate meetings in Britain with Prime Minister Theresa May and then, in neutral Finland, with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Trump, on Friday’s Air Force One flight, said he would raise with Putin the issue of Russian election meddling, as well as differences between Washington and Moscow about Ukraine and Syria.
French President Emmanuel Macron was asked on Friday if it was true that Trump had suggested to him that France should leave the EU.
“What was said in the room stays in that room,” replied Macron about his private meeting with the U.S. president at the White House in April.
Trump, at the annual G-7 leaders’ meeting in Canada early this month, clashed with some of Washington’s closest allies and advocated readmitting Russia, which was suspended from the group in 2014 for annexing Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.
The president, according to the online Axios news site, said to the other G-7 leaders,“NATO is as bad as NAFTA. It’s much too costly for the U.S.”