On Monday September 18th, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer warned that China’s trade practices represent “a threat to the trading system that is unprecedented.” This was his first public speech since being confirmed in May as USTR.

The World Trade Organization (“WTO”) cannot “successfully manage mercantilism on this scale,” said Lighthizer at an event hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. He went on to say that the Trump administration is prepared to address a wide range of abuses by China. The administration also plans to review existing trade deals, such as NAFTA; and focus more on bilateral trade agreements than multinational accords, including free-trade talks with the United Kingdom “at the appropriate time.”