Geneva — The US came under fire from China and the EU on Monday, accused by both major trading partners of taking protectionist measures and bringing the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to its knees. Japan, Switzerland and Canada also criticised Washington, but US trade ambassador Dennis Shea charged that China’s “unfair competitive practices” were harming foreign companies and workers in violation of WTO rules, and he vowed to lead reform efforts at the watchdog. President Donald Trump’s administration says the WTO is dysfunctional because it has failed to hold China to account for not opening up its economy as envisaged when Beijing joined in 2001. Shea drew a rebuke from Chinese envoy Zhang Xiangchen who said US tariffs on steel and aluminium products had allowed protectionism under the guise of dubious national security concerns. “The multilateral trading system is in a deep crisis and the US is at its epicentre,” said EU ambassador Marc Vanheukelen. The heated words were exchang...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now