China warns of 'trade war if WTO ignored'
China warned on Friday that US ignoring World Trade Organisation rulings could trigger a "trade war" after President Donald Trump's administration said it was not bound by the body's decisions. Last week a letter sent from the United States Trade Representative to Congress outlining Trump policy reviewed the terms under which the United States joined the WTO when it was founded in 1995. According to the Trump administration's interpretation, "Congress had made clear that Americans are not directly subject to WTO rulings", said the document.
China warned that moves to discredit the WTO would be detrimental to the future of multilateral trade. "If WTO members ignore the organisation's rules for their own sake and refuse to implement its rulings on disputes, the multilateral trade system will exist in name only and there could even be a repetition of the trade war of the 1930s," a Ministry of Commerce spokesman, said at a briefing in Beijing.