Agencies US President Donald Trump has said India and China are no longer “developing nations”, and are “taking advantage” of the tag from the WTO. He will not let it happen any more, he asserted.

He further threatened to pull the US out of the WTO over what he described as the organisation’s unfair treatment of his country.

Tariff rows

Trump, championing his ‘America First’ policy, has been a vocal critic of India for levying “tremendously high” duties on US products and has described the country as a “tariff king”. The US and China are currently engaged in a bruising trade war after Trump imposed punitive tariffs on Chinese goods and Beijing retaliated.

Last month, Trump had asked the WTO to define how it designates the developing-country status, a move apparently aimed at singling out countries such as China, Turkey and India, which are getting lenient treatment under global trade rules. Addressing a gathering in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, Trump said India and China are no longer developing nations and as such they cannot enjoy benefits from the WTO.

“They (WTO) view certain countries like China, growing nations. Well, they have grown and they had tremendous advantages. We’re not letting that happen any more. Everybody is growing but us,” he said. “They (India and China) were taking advantage of us for years and years,” he added.

The US does not need the WTO if the global body fails to address loopholes that favour certain nations, he said.

Reports further quoted Trump as saying the WTO was “broken” as “the world’s richest countries” claim to be developing countries and get special treatment to avoid WTO rules.

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