JULY 2, 2018
- Axios reported on Sunday that the Trump administration has drafted a bill that would abandon America’s commitment to the World Trade Organization’s rules.
- But it’s the acronym of the proposed legislation that has caught the attention of Twitter.
- It is called “United States Fair and Reciprocal Tariff Act,” but many are now simply calling it the “FART Act.”
- The White House said the draft bill is not “actual legislation that the administration was preparing to rollout.”
Axios reported on Sunday about a “stunning” piece of legislation that has been drafted up by the White House – but it’s the acronym of the proposed bill that has caught the attention of Twitter.
The Trump administration has drafted legislation that would empower the president to ignore international trade rules set by the World Trade Organization, Axios said. It would essentially allow President Donald Trump to unilaterally raise tariffs without the approval of Congress.
It is called “United States Fair and Reciprocal Tariff Act,” but many are simply calling it the “FART Act,” including former members of the White House and journalists on Twitter.
Anthony Scaramucci, who served as Trump’s director of communications for 10 days, said that the bill “stinks” as it would ask US consumers to pay for tariffs.
WTO has its flaws, but the “United States Fair and Reciprocal Tariff Act,” aka the U.S. FART Act, stinks. American consumers pay for tariffs. Time to switch tactics. https://t.co/OfyOFA1neU
— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) July 2, 2018
Others were quick to point out the unfortunate acronym, including Axios’ Jonathan Swan, who originally broke the story about the draft legislation.
The Mooch weighs in on the FART Act of 2018. https://t.co/bEJCF1SLve
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) July 2, 2018
Did they name it the “FART Act” to troll the president? https://t.co/kqTqzlOD0X
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) July 2, 2018
Some have even suggested that a White House staffer was in on the joke when the bill was named, or even that it was a deliberate act of subversion.
US FART Act is just, well, thanks for the smile, nameless WH bureaucrat!
— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) July 2, 2018
But the story could vanish as quickly as it arrived. White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters told Axios that the bill was not “actual legislation that the administration was preparing to rollout.” She said: “Principals have not even met to review any text of legislation on reciprocal trade.”
Walters did, however, reiterate Trump’s frustrations with the current system, which he sees as unfair to the US.
“It is no secret that POTUS has had frustrations with the unfair imbalance of tariffs that put the US at a disadvantage. He has asked his team to develop ideas to remedy this situation and create incentives for countries to lower their tariffs,” she told Axios. “The current system gives the US no leverage and other countries no incentive.”
According to Axios, most of the officials who wrote the draft bill believe that it is untenable and essentially “dead on arrival.” Trump would not be able to withdraw the US from the WTO without the approval of Congress.
Courtesy/Source: Business Insider