Folks, I’m gonna go out on a limb and suggest that the Fair and Reciprocal Trade Act is foul, but mostly hot air. https://t.co/uQ0mtmcEB4
— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) July 2, 2018
Of course, we know Trump doesn’t believe any transaction can be both “fair” and “reciprocal” — in Donny Dollhand’s tiny mind, either he’s winning or he’ll make everybody lose.
Right now, I’m 50/50 on whether the acronym was invented by some cultist minion who figured the most important thing was to Pwn Tha Libs… or by a shell-shocked intern who decided, At this point, getting fired by Trump can only improve my resume.
They named the bill the FART Act. I am not making this up. "The bill, titled the 'United States Fair and Reciprocal Tariff Act,' would give Trump unilateral power to ignore the two most basic principles of the WTO and negotiate one-on-one with any country" https://t.co/WqeaMLqLbj
— Garance Franke-Ruta (@thegarance) July 2, 2018
Eric Levitz, at NYMag:
Donald Trump hates the status quo system of global trade, multilateral institutions, and constraints on his authority.
Thus, the World Trade Organization (WTO) — a multilateral institution that structures global trade by constraining the authority of nation-states — is a natural nemesis for the economic-nationalist-in-chief.…
To be fair, the legislation would certainly create a big stink. The FART Act would give President Trump unilateral authority to impose tariffs (of unlimited size) on any foreign nation, for any earthly reason. The bill would not formally withdraw the United States from the WTO, but it would effectively do so, by nullifying two of the organization’s core rules:
(1) the “Most Favored Nation” principle, which bars WTO members from setting disparate tariff rates on different countries outside of formal trade agreements
(2) the ceiling on tariff rates that were established in previous WTO negotiations…
Fortunately, all signs suggest that the FART Act is just a bunch of hot air. There is an approximately zero percent change that Congress would ever pass such a measure. For all the talk of Trump “transforming” the Republican Party, it remains the case that his signature immigration legislation — which would have upset a variety of business interests, by cutting legal immigration in half — failed to garner more than 38 GOP votes in the Senate. And the WTO bill would, of course, threaten corporate America far more than Trump’s immigration ambitions ever did. Anyhow, according to Axios, the White House has done essentially nothing to advance the legislation since it was drafted in late May…
So much foul gassing, so little accomplished.
Fart jokes aside, who would look at the status quo and decide it’s a good idea to give Trump *more* authority to raise tariffs
— Catherine Rampell (@crampell) July 2, 2018
How hard would it be, theoretically, to add bubbles to this graphic? https://t.co/6ebzdELvrU
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) July 2, 2018