Monday, July 2, 2018

Trump Bill Would Blow Up the World Trade Organization

Axios has obtained a leaked draft of a Trump administration bill — ordered by the president himself — that would declare America’s abandonment of fundamental World Trade Organization rules.

This is bad. Under WTO we have crony trade but crony trade is better than no trade or even more restrictive trade and that is the direction it appears President Trump would be going in if he pulls the U.S. out of the WTO.

From Axios:
The draft legislation is stunning. The bill essentially provides Trump a license to raise U.S. tariffs at will, without congressional consent and international rules be damned.
Trump's anti-trade adviser is pushing the bill:

More from Axios:
 Trump was briefed on this draft in late May, according to sources familiar with the situation. Most officials involved in the bill's drafting — with the notable exception of hardline trade adviser Peter Navarro — think the bill is unrealistic or unworkable. USTR, Commerce and the White House are involved.
  • 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.
  • Navarro replied to Short that he thought the bill would get plenty of support, particularly from Democrats, but Short told Navarro he didn't think Democrats were in much of a mood to hand over moreauthority to Trump.
Bottom line: Whether the bill gets anywhere in Congress, the actual drafting of the bill in the current administration underscores the extreme anti-trade thinking that is led by Navarro who Trump appears to be in simpatico with.

At the same time, that the doc has leaked is an indication that someone wants to kill this latest Navarro nuttiness right now.


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