U.S. Trade Ambassador Robert Lighthizer Tells World Trade Organization They are More Focused on Litigation than Trade…

USTR Robert Lighthizer is attending the World Trade Organization (WTO) summit in Argentina.

[…] Ahead of the meeting, the United States blocked efforts to draft a joint statement emphasizing the “centrality” of the global trade system and the need to aid development. Its opposition has raised concerns that the WTO will not be able to accomplish even modest goals, such as addressing fishing and agricultural subsidies, at the conference. (Reuters)

The Ambassador’s opening remarks to the conference are below and include Lighthizer rightly informing the WTO that the Trump administration believes they have strayed far away from trade issues and are now, essentially, uni-focused on litigation.  He’s right.

[Transcript] “I would like to start by thanking the government of Argentina for hosting MC11, and Minister Malcorra, Director General Azevedo, and their staffs for their excellent work. We appreciate all the effort over many months that go into creating a conference of this magnitude.

In the brief time I have, I would like to make a few basic points.

First, the WTO is obviously an important institution. It does an enormous amount of good, and provides a helpful negotiating forum for Contracting Parties.  But, in our opinion, serious challenges exist.

Second, many are concerned that the WTO is losing its essential focus on negotiation and becoming a litigation-centered organization. Too often members seem to believe they can gain concessions through lawsuits that they could never get at the negotiating table. We have to ask ourselves whether this is good for the institution and whether the current litigation structure makes sense.

Third, we need to clarify our understanding of development within the WTO. We cannot sustain a situation in which new rules can only apply to the few, and that others will be given a pass in the name of self-proclaimed development status.

There is something wrong, in our view, when five of the six richest countries in the world presently claim developing country status. Indeed, we should all be troubled that so many Members appear to believe that they would be better off with exemptions to the rules. If in the opinion of a vast majority of Members playing by current WTO rules makes it harder to achieve economic growth, then clearly serious reflection is needed.

Fourth, it is impossible to negotiate new rules when many of the current ones are not being followed. This is why the United States is leading a discussion on the need to correct the sad performance of many Members in notifications and transparency. Some Members are intentionally circumventing these obligations, and addressing these lapses will remain a top U.S. priority.

Fifth, the United States believes that much can and should be done at the WTO to help make markets more efficient. We are interested in revitalizing the standing bodies to ensure they are focused on new challenges, such as chronic overcapacity and the influence of state-owned enterprises. Further, we are working closely with many Members in committee and elsewhere to address real-world problems such as SPS barriers.

We believe that all of us are here primarily to represent our own citizens to secure rules that will best help them. As President Trump said in his U.N. speech, institutions like this function best when all sovereign nations acting in their own best interest pull together and find ways that permit us all to prosper.

Finally, the United States looks forward to working with all Members who share our goal of using the WTO to create rules that will lead to more efficient markets, more trade and greater wealth for our citizens. Such outcomes will build public support not only for open markets, but for the WTO itself.

I’d like to end where I began and thank the Director General for all his work, and Minister Malcorra for their incredible work to produce a successful MC11.”  (link)

This entry was posted in Big Government, Big Stupid Government, Donald Trump, Economy, NAFTA, President Trump, Trade Deal, Uncategorized, US dept of agriculture, USA. Bookmark the permalink.

82 Responses to U.S. Trade Ambassador Robert Lighthizer Tells World Trade Organization They are More Focused on Litigation than Trade…

  1. ZurichMike says:

    Excellent. I love how the Trump administration ripped the rose-colored glasses off the body politic and are stating the obvious in clear, understandable, pro-American policy.

    Liked by 55 people

  2. prenanny says:

    Leaving no stone unturned, President TRUMP is going after all of the cauldrons of corruption.
    We are witnessing EPIC History.
    This is why we elected the guy LOVE IT

    Liked by 29 people

  3. Sylvia Avery says:

    After reading Lighthizer’s remarks, I feel like I just watched Negan take his baseball bat Lucille to the WTO. I am not a Negan fan but man am I cheering!

    ZurichMike and milktrader above me here have said it perfectly. Lighthizer’s remarks clearly and succinctly explained what is up with the WTO and folks it isn’t good. And he reiterated the President’s America First policy quite clearly. There can be no doubt. Any nation listening has heard the same message again and again.

    I’m no expert on the WTO but I have a deeply ingrained suspicion of global enterprises, and it is apparent from reading what Lighthizer says I am right to be suspicious because the WTO smells like a dead fish left in the sun for a couple of days.

    The WTO is clearly another swamp to drain. I have complete confidence in PDJT’s men to do just that.

    Liked by 23 people

  4. Donna in Oregon says:

    For those of you that missed the fastest knockout on record appears to be one in a Golden Gloves tournament at Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA on 4 Nov 1947, when Mike Collins floored Pat Brownson with the first punch and the contest was stopped, without a count, 4 seconds after the bell.

    And then there was this speech 🙂

    Liked by 21 people

  5. nimrodman says:

    PresTrump and his Killers are taking one after another contingent of mincing, pinkie-in-the-air, diplo-boys and are kicking their legs out from under them.

    They don’t know what hit ’em.
    I’m sure they’re at a loss at how things have changed overnight.

    Liked by 16 people

  6. Joshua2415 says:

    Finishing up at WTO should still leave plenty of time to withdraw from NAFTA before Christmas.

    Liked by 9 people

  7. ADDgolfer says:

    “That is how the president should act and speak”, they say.
    Trump ally Ambassador Lighthizer lays out the argument in a way more palatable to “them”. That’s his job, why he is an Ambass.
    The President’s way is more attuned to how we talk, when challenged, upset, or disagree. Peer talk around the water cooler, the beer garden, the coffee clutches. Why we listened, why we “woke”, is why many understand the diplomatic language.
    The President spoke to us, in our language. He has others to translate it to PC.

    Liked by 8 people

  8. joshua says:


    Well, you put your two knees close up tight
    And then you swing them to the left, you swing them to the right
    Step around the floor kind of nice and light
    And then you twist around and twist around with all your might.

    Shake your loving arms way out in space
    And then you do the Eagle Rock with the style and grace
    Swing your foot way round then you bring it back
    That’s what I call ballin’ the crooks

    Liked by 2 people

    • prenanny says:

      LOL sing it Joshua

      Liked by 1 person

      • the5thranchhand says:

        Oh my! Joshua, that is a terrific song to tap-dance to!!! Had a delightful tap-dance routine that was danced many and many a time for conference entertainment, etc! What fun! What memories! Thank you for sharing!

        Mr. Lighthizer is the perfect man to get our trade deals straightened out! Thank you President Trump. End NAFTA yesterday.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. KBR says:

    Instead of actual astute businessmen there are (only) too many greedy lawyers working at NTO?
    Anybody know the ratio of business people to lawyers working at WTO?

    Perhaps rename this World Litigation Organization.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Leslie Ingersoll says:

    WTO…..world (unfair) trade obstructed….USA foils their evil plans……in 5 easy steps 🇺🇸 MAGA


  11. Oldschool says:

    Thank you SD for all your patient, step by step, repeated analysis of global trade. Prior to your education, I would have passed on articles like this. I still feel like I’m in preschool, but I am able to see things now that I hadn’t a clue about.

    Liked by 13 people

  12. If any are interested, here is a link to news of the day from down that way:

    Liked by 5 people

  13. jeans2nd says:

    Perhaps one of the best parts of the Trump Trade Team’s trade perspectives is the recent about-face of the globalist economists.

    Books are being published, initiating think tank discussions from heretofore ignored economists, pointing out the deleterious effects of the group-think trade perspectives on the Global Deplorables, and how the nation-state is indeed not dead and must be left to decide their own internal affairs.

    The pros and cons of NAFTA withdrawal are being debated. Finally the pro side is being heard.

    These guys are not new; their ideas have just been ignored.
    No longer.
    Amb Lightbringer is Simply The Best.

    Able to provide links if desired – just go to youtube CSIS, AEI, Aspen, Brookings, CATO, CFR, so many more. The trend is America First.
    listening to think tank talking heads – is what i do (sigh)

    Liked by 8 people

  14. I never thought I would live to see the changes happening before our very eyes – and all in one year! Are you kidding me?
    I would like for everyone to close your eyes. Reflect for just a moment on how you felt about where our country was headed after Obama was re-elected.
    Now, open your eyes and look what is happening all around us. It is truly incredible so savor every moment of this incredible ride. We have at least 7 more years of this incredible journey left and just imagine how great the USA will be! This train is picking up some serious speed and plowing through every roadblock the Uniparty has placed on the tracks.

    Liked by 12 people

  15. Brant says:

    Using litigation when they don’t get what they want via other means. Sounds like what we have here in the US.

    Liked by 7 people

  16. daizeez says:

    I love our president’s “little friends”. Notice how exemptions are granted all over the place to skirt around any laws. Taxes, environmental regulations, minimum wages and it’s usually to the ones in good shape to begin with. The rich, the powerful companies, the largest states, etc. The ones the laws were supposedly enacted to help, end up getting pummeled. I love the president’s “little friends” who are on board with his non-globalist agenda. It’s crystal clear where the other side has invested their money and power over the years. It certainly has not been on Main Street.

    Liked by 11 people

    • piper567 says:

      daizeez, this emphasis on exemptions and evasion of rules seems to be the hallmark of all of these global “initiatives”.
      It is only the admirable consistency of Trump and the Wolverines that is allowing us to see the reality and the details of what Trump stated at the Mississippi rally last wk:
      The USA has been treated as if we are everyone’s piggy bank.
      And it is becoming clearer each day of this Administration, as they shine the light on these global vermin, that the overall emphasis in these initiatives is always, not sometimes, to the detriment of USA.

      Liked by 6 people

  17. TreeClimber says:

    Wow, he didn’t pull any punches, did he?? ♥_♥

    Liked by 7 people

  18. MK Wood says:

    The only way to attempt to fix the failings of organizations as the WTO is to address them head on. If after that they continue down the path they are on and refuse to/are unable to correct themselves makes it much easier for US to refuse to abide by their wrongful rulings.

    Liked by 6 people

  19. TheLastDemocrat says:

    More unmasking. “Hey, we have figured out these trade deals are ways of sucking wealth out of the most powerful economy in the world and handing it over to everyone else. As Inspector Clouseau replied after one unfortunate mishap in which an aghast observer cried out, ‘That is a priceless Steinway, ‘Not any more.’ ”

    Liked by 9 people

  20. TheWanderingStar says:

    “In the brief time I have, I would like to make a few basic points.”

    Did the WTO even see the truck that hit them?

    Liked by 10 people

  21. Bitcoin & Stock Market Timing says:

    Duh yep… and many in America would rather sue their neighbor than “Love their neighbor, wife, kids as themselves”… The absence of Christ’s love = wicked legal games.

    Liked by 4 people

  22. Pretty, pretty exciting times we are living in. Winning. The Storm is here. Go Roy Moore. Too excited to sleep.

    Liked by 8 people

  23. Betty says:

    This is my favorite Lighthizer point: “… If in the opinion of a vast majority of Members playing by current WTO rules makes it harder to achieve economic growth, then clearly serious reflection is needed.”

    I wonder if they had any warning that this was coming or if they were taken by surprise? To me Lighthizer is saying “forget about your two clever by half sneaking around the rules, if you all think WTO is about holding the United States still while you people rape her then you got another think coming”.

    And I wondered what the name Lighthizer means and this is as close as I could get:

    heiser hei•ser:
    1 adj hoarse; (=dunkel klingend) husky; [Laut] croaky
    2 adv heiser reden; to talk hoarsely, to talk in a hoarse voice
    sich heiser schreien/reden to shout/talk oneself hoarse

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Carolina Kat says:

    I knew Robert Lighthizer was a pill because the Senate took forever to confirm him. I am so impressed I could start a fan club. I had no idea that the WTO used lawfare to force compliance selectively. It seems the ‘rules’ are written to select the criminals… to punish good behavior and reward bad behavior. All of this begets more bad behavior.

    Someone hit the hornet’s nest squarely (note the snark from Reuters – as if he was attacking underdeveloped countries). 5 of the 6 richest are self-designated underdeveloped. Hmmm…

    BTW, I’d love to be in Argentina right now. Spring!

    Liked by 6 people

  25. Bob Thoms says:

    Sanity and common sense……………………….love P Trump. love P Trump’s appointments.

    If only the DOJ would clean up the corruption mess that is FISA/Dossier/Collsuion/Unmasking. Life would seem so much better to me.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. 17CatsInTN says:

    I’m glad I hired the best CEO on the planet. President Trump understands the vital importance of strong leadership, systemic problems, negotiation and bottom lines better than the entire cabal aligned against him. Ain’t it great???

    Sometimes I have to pinch myself to see if this is all a dream. We have been so STARVED for actual ethical, uncompromisingly American leadership. I love basking in all this.

    Liked by 6 people

  27. fleporeblog says:

    These two paragraphs tell you everything you need to know about the WTO and their Global Agenda! Our President and his Killers have taken a Sledgehammer to Globalism and Multilateral Trading Agreements!

    From the article linked above:

    With Trump’s “America First” trade agenda casting a cloud over the WTO’s 11th ministerial meeting in Buenos Aires, representatives of other major members criticized protectionism and advocated a stronger multilateral trading system, while acknowledging the WTO’s shortcomings.

    “We need to have a clear objective in mind,” European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said. “For the European Union, this is clear: to preserve and to strengthen the rules-based multilateral trading system.”

    Liked by 1 person

  28. MVW says:

    God has let loose the Kraken on the New World Order criminals. Let no mercy be given to these demons except where real repentance is 100%.

    The same domestically.

    Liked by 2 people

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