Over 40 countries object at WTO to US vehicle tariff plan



Late last week, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin rejected allegations that President Donald Trump wants the United States to withdraw from the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Axios reported on Friday that Trump wanted to leave the WTO, a story dismissed by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin as "wrong" and "an exaggeration".

The bill - the existence of which has not been independently confirmed - would be a dramatic shift in trade policy with wide-reaching impacts, but it was the name of the proposed bill that caught people's attention.

White House aides who President Trump ordered to draw up a bill to have the nation get around WTO trading rules came up with an odious response: the FART Act. "Most countries agree that they must be changed, but nobody ever asked!"

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross also said that it was "a little premature" to be looking at the USA exit from the WTO, in an interview with CNBC.

"Bound tariff rates" - the tariff ceilings that each WTO country has already agreed to in previous negotiations. 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 objective, notes Business Insider.

Chinese tariffs on US goods take effect at start of July 6
President Donald Trump has made it clear he prefers one-on-one negotiations to multilateral negotiations, however. But disagreements over trade soured the end of the summit, as Beijing refused to sign the joint declaration.

Trump reportedly was briefed on the working draft in May.

In a White House meeting to discuss the bill earlier this year, Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short bluntly told Navarro the bill was "dead on arrival" and would receive zero support on Capitol Hill, according to sources familiar with the exchange. But many diplomats say quitting the WTO would not be in the USA interest, and the WTO has said it has never had any indication of Trump intending to leave.

"The authorities emphasized their strong commitment to the WTO and listed WTO reform as a key trade priority, welcoming reform proposals from other members", the fund said in an annual report on the world's largest economy.

In 2018, he slapped 25 percent and 10 percent tariffs on steel and aluminum coming from China, Canada, the European Union, blaming them for "unfair" trade with the United States and the country's "bad" trade deficit.

Trump has struck USA allies with tough tariffs and is planning to impose tough trade penalties on China later this week.

Both tariffs on foreign metals are reportedly based on concerns about US national security. The draft bill is known as the United States Fair and Reciprocal Tariff Act, which would essentially allow President Trump to unilaterally raise tariffs without Congressional approval.

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