President says US is very close to making ‘fair trade deals’ as big banks voice warn of threats to economic growth

Donald Trump has defended his controversial positions on tariffs and trade, even as global markets were buffeted by a disappointing start to the second half of the year.

At a meeting with the prime minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, in the Oval Office on Monday, the president mused that the World Trade Organization had mistreated the US: “I hope they change their ways. They have been treating us very badly for many, many years and that’s why we were at a big disadvantage with the WTO.

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