President Trump's administration has reportedly drafted a bill abandoning key World Trade Organization rules
04 July, 2018, 19:10
"As (Treasury) Secretary (Steven) Mnuchin and the President have said, that is not accurate that the U.S. is leaving the WTO (sic)", White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters at her daily news conference. But several people, including former White House staffers and journalists, have shortened it to the "FART Act". 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 personally ordered the bill be drafted, according to the report.
China'sembassy in Washington has issued a security advisory to Chinese nationals traveling to the United States, the latest such warning as trade tensions escalate between the two countries.
Washington and Beijing are making global headlines with threats over the prospect of a trade war, but they're also hurling indirect criticisms at each other on a more subtle front: Official travel warnings cautioning their respective citizens about the dangers associated with traveling from China to the USA - or vice-versa.
The name was leaked by news website Axios, which had earlier reported that the USA president wanted to leave the WTO.
Under the bill, Trump would be able to impose tariffs without congressional consent.
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She said: "There remain worries about the impact of a possible US-China trade war on both the Chinese economy with potential fall out across the wider Asian region".
It would also allow "reciprocal tariffs", so Trump could impose USA tariffs on particular goods equal to the tariff charged on US exports of those goods by another country.
According to Axios, Trump was briefed on the bill in May, but it hasn't yet been reviewed by key economic advisers.
White House spokeswoman Lindsay Waters told Axios that Trump had asked his staff to come up with ways to persuade other countries to lower their tariffs. Mr Trump has indicated he's examining leaving the WTO altogether.
Trump has been angling for some time to withdraw the U.S. from the WTO completely, though he would be unable to do so without Congress' approval.
China is poised to fire the opening salvo in an escalating trade dispute with the United States by bringing in 25% tariffs on $34bn of USA goods a day earlier than Washington.
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, speaking on CNN on Saturday, deflected a question over whether the administration wanted to withdraw from the global treaty, saying, "That's the president's decision". "Now it is pursuing economic hegemony", the daily wrote.
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