AXIOS: Obtained Copy Of Bill Proving That President Trump Planned To Blow Up WTO

Mr Trump has said he is considering a meeting with Mr Putin
Presidents Trump/ Putin CREDIT: AFP

The White House had been pushing back hard against Jonathan Swan of AXIOS that the republican President Donald J. Trump had been seriously giving consideration about pulling out of WTO, the World Trade Organization, but Mr. Swan was able to obtain a leaked copy of the bill that was drafted to do just that.

This is important to know because it proves that the president is literally insane when he is dealing and playing on the world stage to where he cannot be trusted to act in the US best national security interests as he heads over to the July 2018 NATO summit and his scheduled tete-a-tete with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

See: Trump’s Foreign Policy Moments | Council on Foreign Relations

The president completely caved on the June 2018 one-on-one meeting that he had with the N Korean leader over US demands that N Korea agree to complete denuclearization of it nuclear weaponry. He gave the N Korean leader Kim Jong-Un the commitment to end its US-S Korean military exercises in South Korea, a suggestion presented to him by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. Meanwhile, N Korea had been fast at work accelerating its nuclear arms capabilities.

Here are some of Donald Trump's major foreign policy decisions he has taken since coming to the White House. Picture: AFP

There has been ample reporting on this:

See: North Korea’s dispersed and hidden weapons complex highlights the challenge of denuclearization/ Washington Post

See:  Infrastructure Improvements at North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear / 38North..

See:  North Korea Has Continued to Upgrade Its Nuclear Reactor | Time

The president has been floating the ideas of pulling US troops out of S Korea, Germany and Syria as well as considering forgiving Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Ukraine. There are numerous other examples of the President’s insane thinking when it comes to US foreign policy.

See: Trump fails to rule out accepting Russia’s claim to Crimea

There is no good reason for the upcoming scheduled tete-a-tete between President Trump and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on July 16, 2018 in Helsinki, Finland, just so the president can give away the ship on Syria to Russia and Iran.

My bet is that the President will manage to arrive a couple days early to be able to attend the last day of World Cup being hosted by Russia. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may even join them.

As per June 26, 2018 Telegraph report by Alec Luhn, “Donald Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton is travelling to Moscow to discuss a meeting between the US president and Vladimir Putin that could coincide with the World Cup final.”

“The timing of the summit has raised questions about whether Mr Trump, who bragged this month about bringing the 2026 World Cup to North America, could defy expectations and visit the Russian capital for the denouement of the 2018 tournament.”

“Benjamin Netanyahu is also considering coming to the game, and Mahmoud Abbas has already accepted an invitation from Mr Putin to attend, raising the possibility of an Israeli-Palestinian summit at the international sporting event.”

The timing of the proposed meeting has raised the possibility that the pair may attend the World Cup final
The timing of the proposed meeting has raised possibility that the pair may attend World Cup final CREDIT: TASS

Here is the rest of the story…

On July 1, 2018, Jonathan Swan of AXIOS penned the following report, “Exclusive: A leaked Trump bill to blow up the WTO”

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.

Why it matters: 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.

The details: The bill, titled the “United States Fair and Reciprocal Tariff Act,” would give Trump unilateral power to ignore the two most basic principles of the WTO and negotiate one-on-one with any country:

  1. The “Most Favored Nation” (MFN) principle that countries can’t set different tariff rates for different countries outside of free trade agreements;
  2. “Bound tariff rates” — the tariff ceilings that each WTO country has already agreed to in previous negotiations.

“It would be the equivalent of walking away from the WTO and our commitments there without us actually notifying our withdrawal,” said a source familiar with the bill.

  • “The good news is Congress would never give this authority to the president,” the source added, describing the bill as “insane.”
  • “It’s not implementable at the border,” given it would create potentially tens of thousands of new tariff rates on products. “And it would completely remove us from the set of global trade rules.”

“Behind the scenes: Trump was briefed on this draft in late May (2018), 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.”

White House response: Spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said, “It is no secret that POTUS has had frustrations with the unfair imbalance of tariffs that put the U.S. at a disadvantage. He has asked his team to develop ideas to remedy this situation and create incentives for countries to lower their tariffs. The current system gives the U.S. no leverage and other countries no incentive.”

  • But Walters signaled that we shouldn’t take this bill as anything like a done deal. “The only way this would be news is if this were actual legislation that the administration was preparing to rollout, but it’s not,” she said. “Principals have not even met to review any text of legislation on reciprocal trade.”

  • Between the lines: Note the specificity of Walters’ quote above. Trump directly requested this legislation and was verbally briefed on it in May. But he hasn’t met with the principals to review the text.

Be smart: Congress is already concerned with how Trump has been using his trade authorities — just look at recent efforts by Republican Sens. Bob Corker and Pat Toomey and Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet to roll back the president’s steel and aluminum tariffs.

  • The bottom line: As a smart trade watcher told me: “The Trump administration should be more worried about not having their current authority restricted rather than expanding authority as this bill would do.”

Link to read the bill: A leaked Trump bill to blow up the WTO /AXIOS

7 comments

  1. Maybe I’m crazy, but I want Dumpy to try to pull out of the WTO. Let the world see his true colours. Maybe then his own party will realize they are backing and supporting a mentally ill president. I don’t know how bad the VP can be, but surely not as bad as Dumpy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Scariest part if Trump was allowed to pull out of WTO, his base would consider the move “winning” despite loss of jobs and reciprocating trade tariffs. They’ll keep supporting him even as the empire collapse, lol.

      Like

      • Dear 1EarthUnited,

        You are probably right in your assessment. Fortunately, the business community executives won’t stand for it.

        Unfortunately, President Trump keeps forgetting that he doesn’t live in Russia. He does have limits to where he can only go so far, although he is doing his best to test those limits.

        Hugs, Gronda

        Like

    • Dear Rawgod,

      President Trump can float the idea of leaving the WTO on behalf of President Putin but the business community would NOT stand for it. President Trump keeps forgetting that the USA is not Russia and that he does have limits.

      But I am for having President Trump move out of the White House asap, as I do believe that he is a major threat to the US national security interests.

      Right now the republican leaders in the US Congress are covering for President Trump even though there are republicans now pushing back. But the leadership can prevent their bills from being voted on like the bill to stop President Trump from unilaterally impose tariffs on our neighbors and allies.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Like

  2. Gronda, this fits nicely in a more detailed way with my post on “Make America Alone.” The question to ask Republican leaders in Congress is “do we want to be alone against the world?” Becausd that is the direction we are headed. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Keith,

      If the president had his way, the USA would be operating alone.We need to keep calling our US republican lawmakers as they need to step up to do their jobs.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Like

      • Gronda, having multi-party agreements where everyone does well takes too much from Trump’s ego. He likes the bilateral agreements where he can win and someone lose.

        I have not talked about this much, but this is the mindset of someone who wants to make a big sale, rather than someone who wants a longer term relationship. You make more money on the latter as the relationship endures. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

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