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Trump Trade Legislation Has Unfortunate Acronym: FART

Critics pounce on the FART Act, which would give president broad new powers
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2018 10:15 AM CDT
President Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

(Newser) – President Trump is no fan of the World Trade Organization, and Axios reports that he ordered his advisers to work up a bill that would give him broad power to circumvent WTO rules and negotiate his own deals. The story by Jonathan Swan uses the words "insane" and "stunning" to describe the bill's scope, though it adds that the measure has virtually no chance of becoming reality. Trump reportedly was briefed on the working draft in May. CNN confirms the existence of the leaked proposal, called the United States Fair and Reciprocal Tariff Act. And, yes, the emergence of that name has led to a barrage of social media jokes and commentary about the FART Act, notes the Guardian. "WTO has its flaws, but the 'United States Fair and Reciprocal Tariff Act,' aka the U.S. FART Act, stinks," writes Anthony Scaramucci. "American consumers pay for tariffs."

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. The Axios report says most of the Trump officials who worked up the proposal think it's unrealistic, and that has led to speculation that staffers gave it the unfortunate acronym on purpose, notes Business Insider. A White House spokesperson confirmed that Trump asked his team to work up ideas to "remedy" what he sees as unfair trade laws. "The only way this would be news is if this were actual legislation that the administration was preparing to roll out, but it's not," says Lindsay Walters. "Principals have not even met to review any text of legislation on reciprocal trade." (Read more President Trump stories.)

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