FRANKFURT MAIN : Membership of the of the World Trade Organization [WTO] has benefited the US and CHINA more than any other nations, a study published on Monday found, as the two powers seek to defuse months-long trade conflict.

The Bertelsmann Foundation research showed WTO membership has boosted the US's gross domestic product by $87 billion in the 25 years since the country joined.

China, which became a member only in 2001, gained $86 billion, while Germany added $66 billion.

Even if no organisation is perfect, anyone who believes they can rely on a system of bilateral trade agreements instead of the WTO risks enormous losses of prosperity in international trade,'' said Bertelsmann trade expert Christian Bluth

With 164 member countries, the WTO will celebrate a rocky 25th anniversary on Jab 1, 2020.

The US refuses to name new judges to its appellate body, blocking arbitration of trade disputes.

Washington and Beijing have nonetheless struck a truce in their tit-for-tat war, hoping to sign a preliminary trade deal in January.

Around the world. Bertelsmann found WTO members gained an average 4.5 percent of GDP from membership. The total increase reached $855 billion or 1pc of global output, the study showed.

And around the world, WTO members exports increased an average of 14pc between 1980 and 2016, while non-members exports fell almost 6pc.

So far, ''nations with strong exports and productions are the main beneficiaries'' of WTO membership, the Bertelsmann Foundation said in statement, pointing to countries such as South Korea and Mexico as further winners.

European countries with smaller manufacturing sectors have not been able to make such large gains from WTO membership.

France's output was boosted by $25 billion, while Britain's added $22 billion - both well below the average increase of 4.5 pc of GDP.

European Commission President Ursula von der Lyen has said she planned to meet US President Donald Trump ''at the beginning of 2020'' with trade one of the major issues on the table. [AFP]


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