US wants WTO to reset ‘outdated’ tariffs

The Trump administration is about to take another step towards its goal of improving America’s place in the global economic hierarchy.

The New York Times reports that Trump’s U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer, in testimony before both the House and Senate on Wednesday, will tell members of Congress that the tariffs set by the World Trade Organization (WTO) need to be “reset.”

The short end of the stick

The Times based its report on a copy of the remarks that Lighthizer plans to make before Congress.

Lighthizer, according to the Times, will tell Congress that the tariffs set by the WTO are “outdated” and are costing America and Americans. This is something that the Trump administration has already been working to change. Lighthizer plans on telling Congress how it will continue to work to put America in a better position.

The Times reports: “He will say the United States intends to press forward on trade negotiations with Britain and Kenya, seek to ‘rebalance’ its trade relationship with the European Union and work toward more comprehensive trade agreements with Japan and China . . .”

Lighthizer will insist that the U.S. “must ensure that tariffs reflect current economic realities to protect our exporters and workers.”

The “Greatest Trade Abuser” of them all

Lighthizer’s remarks, according to the Times, will also suggest that the Trump administration is going to continue to put pressure on the WTO to make changes to the way it sets tariffs.

In his prepared remarks, Lighthizer plans to criticize the WTO for its treatment of America.

Lighthizer, the Times reports, will state that the WTO has treated America “as the world’s greatest trade abuser” and “created new obligations out of thin air, preventing the United States from taking action to address unfair trade practices that hurt U.S. workers, and usurping the U.S. government’s accountability to the American people.”

According to the Trump administration, the real “greatest trade abuser” is China, and, thus, it is one of the U.S.’s chief targets when it comes to combating unfair trade practices. This situation was exacerbated by the recent coronavirus pandemic, and the Trump administration has been looking to find ways to financially hold China accountable for causing a bigger outbreak by withholding important information about the coronavirus.

Getting America back to first

Lighthizer’s first stop on Wednesday morning will be the House’s Ways and Means Committee, and then, in the afternoon, he will appear before the Senate’s Finance Committee.

Let’s hope that this is the start of really getting America a fair shake economically.

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