Trump is loading up protectionist tariffs on imported goods. Today its washing machines and solar panels. This is likely illegal under WTO rules:
“China will work with other WTO members to resolutely defend its legitimate interests in response to the erroneous U.S. decision.”
So what happens when China brings a case at the WTO? Well, the US has been actively blocking the appointment of judges - meaning there is a massive backlog in cases.
"Trouble is brewing at the WTO’s court of appeals. It is meant to have seven serving judges, but has only five and by the end of the year will have just four. The Americans refuse to start the process of filling the spots, citing systemic concerns. What seemed an arcane procedural row has become what some call a “crisis”."
Cases are already taking 6 times longer on average than they used to. It seems that Trumps plan is to cause the WTO to implode and then once the global trade system is broken, he can do what he likes.
Where does this leave the Brexit plan to revert to WTO rules?