The WTO Was Ailing Long Before Trump

October 29, 2020

The established order of things in international trade, the world we have been comfortable with for decades, has been shattered.

This is often laid at Donald Trump’s door, given his disdain for the World Trade Organization (WTO) and relish for unilateral actions such as tariff surcharges. In reality, the global trading system was in trouble before Trump arrived. He and Robert Lighthizer, his spear-carrier as US Trade Representative, have just been the instruments of disruption, bringing all of the inadequacies and shortcomings of the WTO system to the fore.