Trump Trade Legislation Has Unfortunate Acronym of FART

Trump Is Reportedly Planning to Replace the WTO With the FART Act

Donald Trump has been ridiculed over the naming of a leaked draft bill outlining how the United States would abandon key World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules. But if shortened to an acronym, like many longwinded bill names are, Trump's plan could be known as the U.S. FART Act.

Trump's aggressive stance has roiled USA relations with allies and trading partners from Europe to China.

The United States has imposed tariffs on European steel and aluminium imports and is conducting another national security study that could lead to tariffs on imports of cars and auto parts.

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Axios reported on Sunday that Trump, who has made fighting unfair trade rules a pillar of his presidency, has ordered that legislation be written stipulating a WTO withdrawal. "They have been treating us very badly for many, many years and that's why we were at a big disadvantage with the WTO", Trump told reporters at the White House.

"He wrote on Twitter: "'The world is laughing at us, ' says Trump, before proposing the FART Act (Fair and Reciprocal Tariff Act)".

Journalists delighted in the name, while others suggested it could be a subtle act of rebellion from a disillusioned staff member. "The WTO is designed by the rest of the world to screw the United States", Axios's source quoted Trump as saying. Trump has requested his Commerce Department study whether to impose additional tariffs on cars, trucks and auto parts imported from Europe and other foreign markets, prompting a warning from the European Union that such an action could lead to retaliation involving some $300 billion in USA goods.

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The act would allow Trump to ignore the WTO's "most favoured nation" principle, which stops countries trading on different terms with different trading partners unless they have a formal trade agreement, Axios said.

Later on Monday, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Trump was focused on fixing problems in global trade, not on leaving the trade organization that has been a foundation of the postwar global trading system.

"They have to treat us fairly", Trump said Friday about the WTO.

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Former U.S. International Trade Commission Economist Peter Morici on President Trump's concerns about the WTO, Europe's migrant crisis and the state of the U.S. economy.

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