'India and China no longer deserve the term developing nations'; Trump accuses both of taking advantage from WTO

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WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that India and China the two economic giants from Asia are no longer developing nations and accused them of "taking advantage" of the tag from the WTO. The US president also ent on to say that he will do whatever it takes so that both the countries will not be able to take advantage anymore.

Trump, championing his 'America First' policy, has been a vocal critic of India for levying "tremendously high" duties on US products and has described the country as a "tariff king". The US and China are currently engaged in a bruising trade war after Trump imposed punitive tariffs on Chinese goods and Beijing retaliated. Earlier in July, Trump asked the World Trade Organisation to define how it designates developing-country status, a move apparently aimed at singling out countries like China, Turkey and India which are getting lenient treatment under the global trade rules.

In a memorandum, Trump had empowered the US Trade Representative (USTR) to start taking punitive actions if any advanced economies are inappropriately taking benefits of the WTO loopholes. While India and China are no longer developing nations, they continue to take advantage of a developing nation tag from the WTO, putting the US to disadvantage, he said.

The Geneva-based WTO is an intergovernmental organisation that regulates international trade between nations. Under the global trade rules, developing countries claim entitlement to a longer timeframe for the imposition of safeguards, generous transition periods, softer tariff cuts, procedural advantages for WTO disputes and the ability to avail themselves of certain export subsidies.