The European Union (EU) warned Monday at the World Trade Organization (WTO) that the multilateral trading system is in "a deep crisis" and the United States is "at its epicenter."
At a WTO review of U.S. trade policies, held every two years, EU Ambassador to the organization Marc Vanheukelen regretted that protectionist "rhetoric has turned into reality," adding that "the repercussions of tariffs and other restrictions are being felt at the heart of this organization, and more generally in global growth prospects."
The EU also regretted that by deciding to use tariffs as a "central plank" of its new trade policy, and by suggesting that trade wars can have winners, the United States is putting the global trading system at risk.
It warned that U.S. ambivalence about WTO rules "casts a long shadow to the future."
The United States on Monday underwent the first session of its 14th WTO Trade Policy Review, which will continue on Wednesday.