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Trump Threatens US Pullout From WTO if Group Does Not 'Shape Up'


FILE - U.S. President Donald Trump answers questions from the news media in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Aug. 29, 2018.

U.S. President Donald Trump is threatening to withdraw the U.S. from the World Trade Organization if the global trade group does not "shape up."

"If they don't shape up, I would withdraw from the WTO," Trump told Bloomberg News Thursday. Trump said the agreement to establish the WTO was "the single worst trade deal ever made."

A U.S. withdrawal could cripple one of the foundations of the global trading system, which the U.S. was instrumental in creating.

Trump has said the WTO's dispute settlement process has been unfavorable to the U.S. but said during the interview the U.S. began winning lawsuits last year against trading partners that have fought back against U.S. tariffs.

"You know why? Because they know if we don't, I'm out of here," Trump said.

Trump's threat to pull out of the WTO came after Bloomberg reported Trump is planning to impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese imports as soon as next week.

"The launch by the United States of a trade war with China is intended to restrain China's development, but this attempt is bound to fail," said a commentary published by the China Global Television Network.

Trump has also threatened to slap duties on foreign cars, prompting European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker to warn Friday the EU would retaliate with tariffs of its own.

Russia's economy ministry also responded to Trump's threat to pull out of the WTO, saying the U.S. economy would suffer from not playing by the organization's rules.

Global stocks were mostly lower Friday following Trump's threats of more tariffs.