The Trade War Has Claimed Its First Victim

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Tariffs from the United States, Canada, China, Mexico, and the EU may have damaged the WTO beyond repair.

  • Arvind Panagariya *
  • FP

The World Trade Organization (WTO) might be the first victim of the trade war between China, the United States, and the European Union. Today, each is in flagrant violation of its rules, and the institution’s credibility as the protector of a rules-based trading system is in serious doubt.

This photo taken on August 7, 2018 shows a truck (C) transporting a container next to stacked containers at a port in Zhangjiagang in China's eastern Jiangsu province. - China's trade surplus with the United States eased in July, when President Donald Trump imposed stiff tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods in a showdown between the world's two biggest economies. The figures on August 8 come as the two exchange threats of further measures, which have fuelled fears of a trade war many observers warn could hammer global business. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump initiated the trade war in March when he announced the imposition of a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports from most countries.

In May, he…

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