Trump: US could leave World Trade Organisation

The US President has threatened to quit the international body, as he announced that he was pulling all US funding for the UN programme for Palestinian refugees.

At a time when the British government is considering leaving the EU to trade on WTO rules, Donald Trump has pledged to leave the international body, dramatically undercutting the group, which mediates between 164 countries on trade, and covers over 96 percent of global trade.

Trump said that "If they don't shape up, I would withdraw from the WTO," in an interview with Bloomberg News.

Despite the United States winning over 90 percent of cases it brings before the body, Trump argued "We lose the lawsuits, almost all of the lawsuits in the WTO.".

If the US were to leave it would join a group of 12 states which have not signed up to the body, including Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea.

Barry Gardiner, Labour's Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade, said that Theresa May should use her "much vaunted" special relationship with the US President to "bring him back into line".

“Donald Trump’s threat to pull the US out of the WTO is a threat to the entire rules-based trading system. The world is already on the brink of a full-scale trade war, and this is the just the sort of action to tip it over the edge." he said.

"Britain’s workers and businesses need a government that stands up for them and which fights for the rules that protect them from unfair competition.”

Meanwhile the American President is reportedly about to cut off funding for the United Nations' aid programme for Palestinian refugees, which provides services to over five million Palestinians in the occupied territories, as well as Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.

Trump has already announced that the US will no longer be giving $200 million to aid programmes in the Gaza strip, which tens of thousands of Palestinians relied upon.

The German foreign minister, Heiko Maas, said the loss of funding could lead to the dissolution of the UN's Palestinian aid programme. “The loss of this organisation could unleash an uncontrollable chain reaction,” he said.

The German government has pledged to make up some of the lost funding to the agency.

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