WTO rules against Trump's trade war A panel of experts ruled that the tariffs were inconsistent with the global trade rules and asked the United States to bring its measures into conformity with its obligations.
On Tuesday, September 15, 2020, the World Trade Organisation said that American tariffs on Chinese goods violated international rules, thus undermining Donald Trump's justification of his trade war against China and other neighboring countries.
While the US helped design those rules, Trump's actions violated the United States' own principles with regard to facilitating the global trade.
In 2018, the Trump administration imposed levies on $400 billion in Chinese exports to the United States. The administration also imposed tariffs on Canadian aluminium, arguing that its reliance on foreign suppliers was a threat to its national security.
Very quickly, China and Canada responded with retaliatory tariffs on US goods. As a result, American consumers are paying more now and imports from other countries have significantly gone up.
The tariffs threatened the US economy as they had a negative effect on consumer spending, which is the most important driver of American economy. And the US trade deficit surged, hitting its highest level in 12 years since 2008. The trade war confounded American businesses as they became more and more uncertain of their raw material costs. Last September, it was estimated that the trade war had cost the United States about 0.3% of its GDP and 300,000 jobs, according to Moody's corporation, an American firm that provides information on global capital markets.
Farmers were the most affected by the trade war as agricultural exports went down, creating a surplus of perishable goods stuck in limbo and equipment prices increased. The Trump administration had to bail out the sinking agricultural sector by giving farmers $28 billion of taxpayer money and promised to add $20 billion more.
Created in 1995, the World Trade Organisation joined the Bretton-Woods family of global financial institutions with the mission of regulating trade and reducing tariffs within member countries.
International Trade by Commodity Statistics
The International Trade by Commodity Statistics database includes detailed data from 1961 for imports and exports by commodity in quantity and value between OECD countries and 264 different partner countries. Products are classified according to the Standard International Trade Classification system (SITC) and Harmonised System (HS).