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.
Trump's aggressive stance has roiled U.S. relations with allies and trading partners from Europe to China. Axios reported that "most officials involved in the bill's drafting. think the bill is unrealistic or unworkable".
It should also come as no surprise that the act has a simple, blunt name: The Fair and Reciprocal Trade Act. Russian Federation approached the World Trade Organization (WTO) with a request to hold consultations with the United States concerning steel and aluminum duties imposed by Washington, the WTO press service reported on Monday.
The leaked draft emerged a few days after Axios reported that Trump has repeatedly told White House officials that he wants to withdraw the US from the WTO.
And this from a New York Post staffer: "As an editor who writes some headlines at the NY Post can I just say I'm really psyched about the FART Act", writes Seth Mandel.
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In the Axios story on the leaked text, the legislation is referred to as the "United States Fair and Reciprocal Tariff Act". 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 US goods.
The act would allow Trump to ignore the WTO's "most favored nation" principle, which stops countries trading on different terms with different trading partners unless they have a formal trade agreement, Axios said.
White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said in response, "It is no secret that POTUS has had frustrations with the unfair imbalance of tariffs that put the U.S.at a disadvantage".
A source familiar with the bill said "it would be the equivalent of walking away from the WTO and our commitments there without us actually notifying our withdrawal".
The White House didn't immediately respond to HuffPost's request for comment.
If the goal was to get lower tariffs for USA exports, Trump could do that by negotiating trade agreements, he said.