Another Unilateral Decision by Trump, Another Blow to the Multilateral Trading System

Another Unilateral Decision by Trump, Another Blow to the Multilateral Trading System
President Donald Trump points to the media as he arrives at the White House in Washington, Feb. 29, 2020 (AP photo by Carolyn Kaster).

The status of developing countries under international trade rules has long been a divisive issue. The World Trade Organization does not explicitly define what “developing” means, leaving members to determine for themselves where they fall. Even countries that have become relatively rich or are major export powers have been loath to give up the preferential access to foreign markets—or “special and differential treatment”—that developing country status entails. After decades of negotiation, the practical impact of special and differential treatment is less than it once was. But it is nevertheless a major irritant for developed country members of the WTO. And […]

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