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He said the WTO uses “an outdated dichotomy between developed and developing countries that has allowed some WTO members to gain unfair advantages.”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WTO uses “an outdated dichotomy between developed and developing countries that has allowed some WTO members to gain unfair advantages”, says Trump.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

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“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

US President Donald Trump Again Slams Google for Manipulating 2016 Election

Trump and fellow Republicans have accused tech giants including Google of bias against conservative viewpoints

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President Donald Trump listens during a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, July 16, 2019, in Washington. VOA

US President Donald Trump has once again lashed out at Google for manipulating millions of votes in the 2016 presidential elections in favour of then Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

“Wow, Report Just Out! Google manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election! This was put out by a Clinton supporter, not a Trump Supporter! Google should be sued. My victory was even bigger than thought,” Trump tweeted late Monday.

However, the report Trump mentioned in his tweet was published in 2017 that described there was a bias in Google and other search engines during the run-up to the 2016 elections.

Trump’s tweet citing an old research paper also tagged conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch with his tweet, “perhaps asking them to investigate. It’s also unclear who he thinks should sue the company”, reports TechCrunch.

In a statement, Google said: “This researcher’s inaccurate claim has been debunked since it was made in 2016. As we stated then, we have never re-ranked or altered search results to manipulate political sentiment.”

Clinton also responded to Trump: “The debunked study you’re referring to was based on 21 undecided voters. For context that’s about half the number of people associated with your campaign who have been indicted.”

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A man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, May 1, 2019. VOA

The paper was published by Robert Epstein, a psychology researcher who works for the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology and testified before the US Senate Judiciary Committee in June.

The CNBC reported that “Trump’s tweet appears to refer to documents leaked to conservative group Project Veritas, but the documents do not appear to contain any outright allegation of vote manipulation or attempts to bias the election”.

Earlier this month, Trump criticized Google CEO Sundar Pichai for alleged ties to election tampering and China’s military.

Also Read: Actress Alia Bhatt to Raise Funds for Animals via Baking

“@sundarpichai of Google was in the Oval Office working very hard to explain how much he liked me, what a great job the Administration is doing, that Google was not involved with China’s military, that they didn’t help Crooked Hillary over me in the 2016 Election,” he had tweeted.

Trump and fellow Republicans have accused tech giants including Google of bias against conservative viewpoints. (IANS)