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WTO boss says it's too early to speculate on Trump's Trade policies

National News // Nov. 25, 2016

The head of the World Trade Organization has said he's had no indication the United States would move to leave the WTO under Donald Trump's administration.

flickr WTO boss says it's too early to speculate on Trump's Trade policies


During his campaign, which repeatedly attacked global trade deals, President-elect Trump called the WTO a "disaster" and said the US could quit the Geneva-based body.

But WTO boss Roberto Azevedo stressed it was premature to speculate on what Trump may do in office.

He said "what we have to do is be ready for a conversation" with Trump's economic team.

Azevedo conceded that swathes of people worldwide had come to see global trade as a job killer even though such perceptions were not supported by evidence.

He said any fixes to the broader globalization project must not include reactionary, protectionist measures.

He suggested that politicians had been able to use global trade as a scapegoat for economic woes and job losses because leaders had stopped defending it.

Trump's most dramatic pledge since his shock election win was a vow to pull the US of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact on his first day in the White House.

The TPP is President Barack Obama's signature trade initiative which still needs approval from the Republican-dominated Congress.

Asian leaders have said that without US inclusion the pact was essentially meaningless.

The TPP was not negotiated through the WTO but Azevedo has voiced support for it and other regional trade deals, which he says complement the WTO's objectives.

In a short video message on Tuesday, 70-year-old property tycoon Trump called the TPP "a potential disaster for our country".

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