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Trump Presses WTO to Drop ‘Developing’ Nation Status for China and Other Countries

"I've always said American wine is better than French wine!" he added

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developing nation
FILE - President Donald Trump departs after speaking with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House July 17, 2019, in Washington. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump is pressing the World Trade Organization to stop designating China and other countries as “developing” nation, a label that allows them to receive lenient treatment under global trade rules.

In a memo Friday, Trump directed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to “use all available means” to get the WTO to stop describing countries as “developing” if their economies are strong.

He said the WTO uses “an outdated dichotomy between developed and developing countries that has allowed some WTO members to gain unfair advantages.”  Trump said that if the United States decides the WTO has not made “substantial progress” after 90 days, it will unilaterally stop treating those nations as developing countries.

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WTO uses “an outdated dichotomy between developed and developing countries that has allowed some WTO members to gain unfair advantages”, says Trump. Wikimedia Commons

The statement notes that seven of the 10 wealthiest economies in the world, including China, claim developing country status with the WTO. The status allows governments the ability to protect some domestic industries and maintain subsidies, as well as to receive longer time limits to implement trade commitments.

In a tweet Friday, Trump said the “WTO is BROKEN when the world’s RICHEST countries claim to be developing countries to avoid WTO rules and get special treatment. NO more!!! Today I directed the U.S. Trade Representative to take action so that countries stop CHEATING the system at the expense of the USA!”

Retaliation against France

In another trade development Friday, Trump vowed to retaliate against France for imposing a tax against U.S. tech giants, hinting that the United States could adopt tariffs on French wine.

“France just put a digital tax on our great American technology companies,” Trump tweeted, referring to France’s announcement that it would tax tech giants, including Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple.

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Trump said the “WTO is BROKEN when the world’s RICHEST countries claim to be developing countries to avoid WTO rules and get special treatment. NO more!!! Pixabay  

“If anybody taxes them, it should be their home Country, the USA. We will announce a substantial reciprocal action on Macron’s foolishness shortly,” Trump tweeted, referring to French President Emmanuel Macron.

ALSO READ: Tanzania to Construct Hydroelectric Power Plant Despite Criticism from Environmentalists

“I’ve always said American wine is better than French wine!” he added. The French tax targets companies that use consumer data to sell online advertising. Britain has announced plans for a similar tax.

Deputy White House spokesman Judd Deere said Friday that Washington was “extremely disappointed by France’s decision to adopt a digital services tax at the expense of U.S. companies and workers”. (VOA)

Next Story

Facebook Working to Re-elect Donald Trump, Says Billionaire Philanthropist Geroge Soros

"As tempting as it is to use the tools available to us to change the outcome, I am confident we must never do that or we will become that which we fear."

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Fake, News, WhatsApp, Facebook, India
The Facebook mobile app on an Android smartphone. Wikimedia Commons

The billionaire philanthropist George Soros has slammed Facebook, accusing the social networking giant of helping to re-elect Donald Trump in the 2020 US election.

“Facebook will work to re-elect Trump and Trump will protect Facebook,” the 89-year-old said during a speech at a dinner hosted by his non-profit Open Society Foundation at Davos on Thursday, reports Politico.

“It makes me very concerned about the outcome of 2020,” Soros added.

Reacting to his outburst, a Facebook spokesperson said: “This is just plain wrong”.

At the dinner speech, Soros called Trump “the ultimate narcissist”, and Xi Jinping a “dictator”, while praising Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.

Soros also announced he will launch “the most important project of my life” — a $1 billion investment in “critical thinking” via a new network of colleges.

Judge, Trump, Moral
FILE – President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House, in Washington, Nov. 4, 2019. VOA

Earlier this month, Facebook Vice President Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth claimed that it was the social networking giant that got Donald Trump elected as the US President in 2016 because “he ran the single best digital ad campaign I’ve ever seen from any advertiser”.

In a memo obtained by The New York Times, the key Facebook executive in the same vein suggested that the platform with over 2.45 billion monthly active users should not use its enormous reach to block Trump”s reelection in 2020.

“He (Trump) didn’t get elected because of Russia or misinformation or Cambridge Analytica. He got elected because he ran the single best digital ad campaign I’ve ever seen from any advertiser. Period”, said Bosworth who runs Facebook”s hardware group.

“Trump just did unbelievable work,” Bosworth wrote.

Also Read: Amazon Asks Judge to Block Microsoft from Pentagon Project

“As tempting as it is to use the tools available to us to change the outcome, I am confident we must never do that or we will become that which we fear.”

Facebook also announced it will show fewer political ads to people on its platform and Instagram, starting with the US which faces Presidential elections this year, but won’t ban or limit those as Twitter has already done and Google to some extent. (IANS)