The chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, Kevin Hassett, suggested on Monday that the U.S. and other members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) may have to kick China out of the world trade body if it doesn’t start playing by the rules. Hassett is a free trade advocate and not one of Trump administration’s China trade hawks.
Hassett faulted China for flouting the intellectual property rights rules for too long, and said it could find itself outside the WTO if it doesn’t start respecting those rules.
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He said: “China really needs to make up its mind,” Hassett said on Fox Business News. “Do they want to be in the community of nations, do they want to be part of the WTO and just behave like everybody else, or don’t they?”
Adding: “And if they don’t, then we, the community of nations, are going to have to think about what are we going to do about that?” he asked. “Are we going to let them stay in the WTO?”
Hassett is not the first American econmist to talk about throwing China out of the WTO. In July, former U.S. International Trade Commission economist Peter Morici suggested the same. Morici said: “China is in there, but it’s not a market economy. And so it’s been driving Mack trucks through loopholes in the WTO and that is the basic problem. We don’t need to get out of the WTO, we need to throw China out, then the thing will work for us.”