The Trump administration stepped up its campaign against Chinese mercantilism Monday when the White House’s top economist raised the possibility of throwing China out of the World Trade Organization.
“China really needs to make up its mind,” Kevin Hassett, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, 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?”
The remarks were particularly notable because they came from Hassett, who is known as a free trade advocate, rather than one of the Trump administration’s China trade hawks.
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) August 13, 2018
“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? Are we going to let them stay in the WTO?” Hasset said.
The idea of throwing China out of the WTO has been gaining steam lately. In July, former U.S. International Trade Commission economist Peter Morici advocated removing China in an interview with Fox Business News’ Charles Payne.
“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,” Morici said.