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Trump’s Disdain For System Casts Unease Over WTO (Politico)

December 8, 2017
From the article:
What kind of year will 2018 be?...
Instead of relying on the United States as a standard-bearer for open markets, the latest World Trade Organization ministers’ conference may have to deal with the nation's newfound protectionism.
Thousands of government trade officials from more than 160 member-countries are convening in Buenos Aires this weekend to kick off a four-day event meant to strengthen the global trading body and advance the goals of the WTO. But this year, several participants have said their goals for the event center less on taking steps to improve the rules-based system and more on making sure they are able to preserve the status quo.
“The big fear is that instead of just a sort of stalemate, it could be the U.S. taking even more negative steps,” said Kim Elliott, a visiting fellow with the Center for Global Development. “I think most people are just hoping for it not to be a disaster."
The conference, set to formally kick off on Sunday, is the WTO’s 11th ministerial, a biennial gathering of members’ top trade officials. During previous gatherings, the right — and might — of the United States was often enough to tempt even the most defensive of countries to sit down and agree to pry open their markets.

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Photo of Kimberly Ann Eliott
Visiting Fellow