THE HAGUE, March 3 (Xinhua) -- The Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW) has warned U.S. President Donald Trump not to break world trade rules, the largest Dutch employers' organization said in a statement on Friday.
VNO-NCW represents the common interests of Dutch business, both at home and abroad. The organization is worried about Trump's trade policy.
During his presidential campaign, Trump already called the World Trade Organization (WTO) a "disaster" and warned that his country could quit the Geneva-based body.
On Wednesday, in an annual trade policy agenda document, the U.S. trade representative's office said that the administration might defy WTO rulings that it views as interfering with U.S. sovereignty.
According to VNO-NCW, the U.S. plans may lead to countermeasures from other countries. "No company or citizen will benefit from such a battle," VNO-NCW stated. "It is important that countries continue to make agreements together to ensure fair trade."
"Trump seems to go for an aggressive trade policy. In fact, he says he wants to put aside the rules of world trade if it is more convenient for him," said VNO-NCW secretary of international economic relations Marhijn Visser to Dutch NPO Radio 1 on Wednesday.
"Trump wants to be able to lay down a ruling against the U.S. in a dispute settlement within the WTO on for example import tariffs."
"This kind of protectionism may do harm to the global economy and to the economy of the Netherlands," VNO-NCW stated. "Not only because high import tariffs may lead to a trade war, but high import tariffs may also lead to economic stagnation or even decline in, among other countries, the United States themselves. Ultimately, the Dutch economy will be affected as well."
VNO-NCW concluded that it is positive that the government of President Trump wants to make more agreements with other market-based trading groups.
"This may ultimately turn out positive for Europe," VNO-NCW stated. "But we need to study the plans in the forthcoming period to oversee the possible consequences."