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Trump administration would ignore WTO rulings it sees as anti U.S. FT

WASHINGTON U.S. President Donald Trump's administration is preparing to ignore any rulings by the World Trade Organization that it sees as an affront to U.S. sovereignty, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday, citing a report prepared by officials. The draft document, due to be sent to the U.S. Congress on Wednesday, marks the first time the new administration has laid out its trade plans in writing, the Times said."Ever since the United States won its independence, it has been a basic principle of our country that American citizens are subject only to laws and regulations made by the U.S. government -- not rulings made by foreign governments or international bodies," the report said, according to the Times."Accordingly, the Trump administration will aggressively defend American sovereignty over matters of trade policy," the report said, according to the Times. The Wall Street Journal, which also said it reviewed the document, said the policy represents a dramatic departure from the Obama administration, which emphasized international economic rules and the authority of the WTO, a body that regulates trade and resolves disputes among its members.

By contrast, the Trump administration will more assertively defend U.S. sovereignty over trade policy, ramp up enforcement of U.S. trade laws, and use "all possible sources of leverage to encourage other countries to open up their markets," the document said, according to the Journal. The White House did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Congress requires the president to submit the administration's trade policy annually by March 1. In the face of Republican concerns, a congressional aide said language in the draft challenging the WTO could still be toned down in a final, public version, the Journal reported.

Washington is facing several important WTO decisions, particularly involving China. Potentially the most important is a WTO complaint filed in December by Beijing against the EU and the United States for blocking China's request to be treated as a "market economy" under the institution's rules. A final ruling could still be years away. But were the U.S. to ignore a finding in China's favor it could have major consequences for the WTO as a venue for resolving trade disputes before they fester into destructive trade wars, the Times said.

Your money the high price of turning your dog into a foodie

(The writer is a Reuters contributor. The opinions expressed are his own.)By Chris TaylorNEW YORK Aug 18 Bay-Li, Car-Li and Hay-Li have had a rough day. After a workout on the treadmill, a dip in the pool and some personal grooming, they finish off the day with a gourmet dish of chicken thighs, sweet potatoes, Red Delicious apples and blueberries. They are Shih Tzus, a dog breed whose name comes from the Chinese word for "lion dog.""Absolutely, they know they are spoiled," says owner Stephanie Patterson of Wooster, Ohio, who feeds her little canine friends Merrick-brand culinary creations. "They are like my children, and I don't want them eating anything I can't identify."Patterson's Shih Tzus are not alone in eating like kings and queens. The gourmet pet food on the shelves these days is hardly the tasteless kibble of yore. Instead, pets are downing delicacies that would not seem out of place on a multi-course tasting menu in Paris. The brand Tiki Dog, for instance, offers wild-caught ahi tuna with sweet potato, crab, egg, garlic and kale. Merrick's "French Country Cafe" recipe features a blend of duck, carrots, Yukon Gold potatoes and garden peas. Its "Cowboy Cookout" meal is a mélange of beef, green beans and Granny Smith apples, and a case of 12 cans retails for $35.88 at, compared with $17.88 for a case of Purina ProPlan. Weruva brand - advertised as "People Food for Pets" - serves up concoctions like Marbella Paella with mackerel ("Bring Spain to your dog!"), as well as Steak Frites with pumpkin and sweet potatoes ($50.64 for 12 cans at

Devoted pet owners, it seems, are lapping it up. Premium dog and cat foods are slated to gobble up 51 percent of the market in 2015, or more than medium- and bargain-priced brands combined, according to market-research firm Euromonitor International. The total food bill for America's dogs and cats amounted to $27.1 billion in 2014, with high-end fare accounting for $13.7 billion of that. It adds up to $263 per dog, per year, and $108 per cat, just for food, according to Euromonitor. That figure is no surprise to Jared Koerten, Euromonitor senior analyst. He owns a Shih Tzu-Maltese mix, Lilly, who is partial to freeze-dried delicacies.

"The trend is called 'pet humanization,' or treating them like your own children," says Koerten. "People don't want to give their pets anything they wouldn't eat themselves."Indeed, the trend is especially potent with Millennials, who are 18 to 35. They are "coming into the market in a big way," Koerten says - and while they may not be having kids as early as their parents did, they are definitely "spoiling their little furbabies."GONE TO THE DOGS?

Is all this gourmet pet food - led by popular brands such as Blue Buffalo Pet Products Inc, which just started trading publicly - really necessary? After all, dogs have survived for millennia without Iron Chef-worthy fare. Pet owners have convinced themselves to hold to a higher standard, says Alexandra Horowitz, who teaches psychology at Barnard College and is author of the book "Inside of a Dog."It's the "perfect convergence," she says: Anxious owners wanting to give their pets the very best, and manufacturers more than willing to give it to them