The Trump administration is prepared to ignore WTO rulings that are unfavorable to the United States

2017-03-02 「 5043 words / 10 minute 」
The Trump administration is prepared to ignore WTO rulings that are unfavorable to the United States.jpg
The Trump administration is preparing to ignore any rulings by the World Trade Organisation that it sees as an affront to US sovereignty, according to a leaked report prepared by officials.
The move would be a departure from US practice and a blow to the watchdog’s credibility.
The hard-hitting report, due to be sent to Congress on Wednesday and obtained by the Financial Times, marks the first time the new administration has laid out its trade plans in writing. The administration promises to shake up US trade policy and confront what it portrays as a dysfunctional global system that has benefited China and other emerging economies at a cost to US workers.
“Ever since the United States won its independence, it has been a basic principle of our country that American citizens are subject only to laws and regulations made by the US government — not rulings made by foreign governments or international bodies,” officials wrote. “Accordingly, the Trump administration will aggressively defend American sovereignty over matters of trade policy.”
这份列出美国总统唐纳德?特朗普(Donald Trump) 2017年贸易议程的报告出现之际,特朗普政府正在审视有何办法绕开世贸组织的争端解决机制。这份报告还清楚地揭示出特朗普及其助手对世贸组织的蔑视态度。世贸组织是一家总部位于日内瓦的机构,上世纪90年代该机构成立过程中,美国政府发挥过关键作用。
The report laying out President Donald Trump’s 2017 trade agenda comes as his administration is examining alternatives to using the WTO’s dispute settlement system. It also makes clear the scorn with which Mr Trump and his aides regard the Geneva-based institution in which Washington played a key role in establishing in the 1990s.
Washington is facing several important WTO decisions, particularly involving China. Potentially the most important is a WTO complaint filed in December by Beijing against the EU and US for blocking China’s request to be treated as a “market economy” under the institution’s rules.
A final ruling could still be years away. But were the US to ignore a finding in China’s favour it could have major consequences for the WTO as a venue for resolving trade disputes before they fester into destructive trade wars.
美国新商务部长、特朗普团队贸易“沙皇”威尔伯?罗斯(Wilbur Ross)的发言人拒绝置评。
A spokesman for Wilbur Ross, the new US commerce secretary and Mr Trump’s trade tsar, declined to comment.
Echoing Mr Trump’s vows to rip up and renegotiate existing trade deals, the report blames the WTO for enabling the economic rise of China and failing to enforce its rules on Beijing.
“President Trump has called for a new approach, and the Trump administration will deliver on that promise,” it declares. “It is time for a more aggressive approach.”
特朗普政府表示,它计划动用“一切可能手段”,为美国商品和美国企业打开外国市场。报告提及的手段包括一项名为美国《1974年贸易法》(Trade Act of 1974)第301条款(Section 301)的法律条文。该条款允许美国政府对歧视美国商品的国家征收惩罚性关税。不过,自1995年世贸组织成立以来,美国政府一直没有动用过该条款。
The administration said it planned to use “all possible leverage” to open up foreign markets to US goods and companies. Among the tools it cites is a provision known as Section 301 of the US trade act of 1974 that allows the US to impose punitive tariffs against countries for discriminating against US goods but which has not been used by Washington since the WTO’s 1995 creation.
The measure, which was used in the 1980s against Japan and other trading partners, has long been seen as a blunt unilateral instrument of US trade policy. But in the report, administration officials call it “a powerful lever to encourage foreign countries to adopt more market-friendly policies”.
The change, the administration argues, is needed to address a US trade deficit in manufactured goods with the rest of the world that has more than doubled over the past 16 years to $648bn last year. Over that time the US has lost almost 5m manufacturing jobs while real median household incomes have declined.
“The results of this system have not lived up to expectations,” the report says. “These figures indicated that while the current global trading system has been great for China, a giant economy that does not act on the basis of market principles, the United States (and many other countries) that practise market-based capitalism have struggled over the last 16 years.”